Catalytic converter theft has been on the rise, and hybrid cars are not immune to this trend.
Catalytic converters are valuable because they contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
Thieves steal catalytic converters from cars because they can sell them to scrap metal dealers for a profit.
Thefts can happen in broad daylight, and it only takes a few minutes for a thief to remove a catalytic converter from a car.
Hybrid catalytic converters are not necessarily easier or harder to steal than those in conventional cars. However, hybrid cars are more attractive targets for thieves because they have larger catalytic converters that contain more precious metals.
Additionally, the batteries in hybrid cars are located in the trunk, making it easier for thieves to access the catalytic converter from underneath the car.
Are Hybrid Catalytic Converters Easy to Steal?
The Rise of Hybrid Catalytic Converter Theft
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the theft of catalytic converters has been on the rise since 2018.
Thieves target hybrid catalytic converters because they contain valuable metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which can be sold to scrap metal dealers for a profit.
Hybrid catalytic converters are also easier to steal because they are located closer to the ground and are less noisy to cut off than traditional catalytic converters.
Why are Hybrid Catalytic Converters Targeted?
Hybrid catalytic converters are targeted because they contain a higher concentration of valuable metals than traditional catalytic converters.
Thieves can make anywhere from $25 to $300 for a standard catalytic converter, but ones from hybrid vehicles can sell for up to $1,400.
The Toyota Prius is one of the most commonly targeted vehicles due to its high concentration of valuable metals and its popularity among car owners.
How Do Thieves Steal Hybrid Catalytic Converters?
Thieves use a variety of methods to steal hybrid catalytic converters. One common method is to use an angle grinder to cut through the exhaust system and remove the catalytic converter.
Thieves can also use a battery-powered reciprocating saw or a hydraulic jack to lift the vehicle and remove the catalytic converter.
To prevent catalytic converter theft, car owners can park wisely, install an anti-theft device, or shield the catalytic converter with a metal plate.
READ ALSO: Are Jeep Catalytic Converters Easy to Steal
What Happens After a Catalytic Converter is Stolen?
If a catalytic converter is stolen, car owners may notice a loud noise coming from the exhaust system or the check engine light may turn on due to increased emissions.
Car owners should report the theft to the police and their insurance company to file a claim.
Comprehensive coverage may cover the cost of replacing the stolen catalytic converter, but car owners should check their insurance policies to make sure.
In conclusion, hybrid catalytic converters are easy to steal due to their high concentration of valuable metals and their location on the vehicle.
Car owners can take preventative measures such as installing an anti-theft device or parking in a locked garage to protect their vehicles from catalytic converter theft.
How to Protect Your Hybrid Catalytic Converter
Install an Anti-Theft Device
One of the most effective ways to protect your hybrid catalytic converter from theft is to install an anti-theft device.
There are several options available in the market, such as catalytic converter locks, clamps, and shields.
These devices make it difficult for thieves to remove the converter, as they require special tools and skills to bypass security measures.
When choosing an anti-theft device, make sure it is compatible with your hybrid vehicle’s make and model.
Some devices are designed for specific types of converters, so it’s essential to do your research before making a purchase.
Park in a Safe Area
Another way to protect your hybrid catalytic converter is to park in a safe area. Thieves are less likely to target vehicles parked in well-lit areas or near security cameras, as they are more likely to get caught.
If possible, park in a locked garage or a secured lot, especially at night.
When parking in public areas, choose a spot that is visible and close to other vehicles or buildings.
Avoid parking in isolated or dimly lit areas, as they provide cover for thieves to work unnoticed.
Add a Shield or Plate
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Another option to protect your hybrid catalytic converter is to add a shield or plate. These devices cover the converter and make it difficult for thieves to access it.
Some shields are made of heavy-duty steel and can withstand cutting or drilling attempts, while others are made of lightweight materials and can be easily installed.
When choosing a shield or plate, make sure it is compatible with your hybrid vehicle’s make and model as some require welding or drilling, which may void your car’s warranty or affect its emissions inspection.
READ ALSO: Who Buys Stolen Catalytic Converters: A Look at the Black Market
Check Your Insurance Policy
Finally, it’s essential to check your car insurance policy to see if it covers catalytic converter theft.
Some policies offer comprehensive coverage that includes theft or damage to car parts, while others require you to add an endorsement or rider to your policy.
If your policy doesn’t cover catalytic converter theft, consider adding an endorsement or switching to a policy that does as some also offer discounts for installing anti-theft devices, so it’s worth checking with your provider.
Jack is the owner, chief editor, and senior writer of this website.
Machinery, engines, and farming have always been a passion of his since he was a young boy. Growing up on a small farm in rural America, he learned the value of hard work and dedication from an early age.
After completing his degree in Engineering, he decided to follow his dream and became a farmer in 2009.
Since then, he has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. He has grown a variety of crops, tended to farm animals, and worked with all sorts of farming machinery. Continue reading…