Are Hyundai Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal

Are Hyundai Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal? (Who Knew)

Catalytic converters are devices in your car’s exhaust emission system that help convert toxic substances created during internal combustion into less harmful ones.

As a result, catalytic converters are very important for making fuel-powered vehicles slightly better for the environment.

Unfortunately, catalytic converters are commonly stolen because they contain precious metals that can be sold for incredibly high prices.

Some brands and models of cars are more prone to catalytic converter theft, depending on the location and accessibility of this device.

For example, let’s take a look at the South Korean automotive company Hyundai. Are Hyundai catalytic converters easy to steal?

Are Hyundai Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

In most cases, Hyundais aren’t very commonly targeted by catalytic converter thieves. This is because this manufacturer has less valuable converters that have a lower concentration of precious metals in their design. As a result, they’re less appealing to thieves.

Still, every vehicle equipped with a catalytic converter can become a target. For example, in a Hyundai Sonata, the catalytic converter is located underneath the vehicle, which makes it very accessible and easy to remove.

So, even though Hyundais aren’t the top targets for catalytic converter thieves, they can still be susceptible to this type of crime.

Why are Hyundai catalytic converters easy to steal?

Hyundai Emblem

Even though Hyundai catalytic converters aren’t a top target for catalytic converter thieves, they are very easy to remove. 

In most Hyundai models, the catalytic converter is located on the underside of the vehicle, at the very edge of the exhaust system. This location makes removing the catalytic converter very simple and quick.

Although Hyundai catalytic converters aren’t as valuable as the converters from some other vehicles, they’re very easy to steal.

Do all Hyundai vehicles have catalytic converters?

Hyundai car

A lot of the vehicles that Hyundai offers are fuel-powered. This means that they rely on internal combustion to be powered. These vehicles are always equipped with catalytic converters since they’re required by the law.

Hyundai also manufactures several hybrid versions of their most popular vehicles.

Models like the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid or the Sonata Hybrid can be powered by both electricity and fossil fuels. This means that they also contain catalytic converters, even though they’re not used all the time.

The only vehicles that don’t have catalytic converters are those produced before the 1970s and all-electric cars.

For instance, the Hyundai KONA Electric is the company’s all-electric SUV. This means that it doesn’t have a catalytic converter since it’s only powered by electricity.

So, if you have this model, you don’t have to worry about catalytic converter theft.

Where is the catalytic converter located on a Hyundai vehicle?

Hyundai car parked

All Hyundai models have catalytic converters located on the underside of the vehicle close to the end of the exhaust system.

This location is very accessible, which means that they can become easy targets, even though they contain less valuable catalytic converters.

As a result, if you own a Hyundai, it’s important to park your car in a private garage, install an anti-theft device, or use some other method to deter thieves from stealing the catalytic converter.

Which Hyundai model is more likely to have its catalytic converter stolen?

Out of all Hyundai models, there are several that are more likely to be targeted by catalytic converter thieves than others.

For example, SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe are likely to become targets. SUVs have a higher clearance, which leaves more space for thieves to slide underneath the vehicle and quickly remove the catalytic converter.

Other Hyundai models that are likely to be targeted include the Tucson, Kona, and Sonata.

Can you drive a Hyundai without the catalytic converter?

Hyundai steering wheel

Every car will drive and function without the catalytic converter. But, with that said, it’s not recommended to use your vehicle if you know you had your catalytic converter stolen.

First of all, the catalytic converter is an integral part of the exhaust emission system. This means that every car that was originally equipped with this device needs it to work correctly.

In addition, driving without the catalytic converter is illegal in many places around the globe. This device helps convert toxic substances produced by your car into less harmful ones, thus making fuel-powered vehicles more neutral for the environment.

So, if you use your car without a catalytic converter for a long time, you might be fined.

How can you tell you had your Hyundai catalytic converter stolen?

Hyundai Kona N

Unless you’re extremely versed in every car’s internal build, it might be hard to tell whether your car is missing its catalytic converter just by looking at it.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can determine if your car has had its catalytic converter stolen.

Firstly, your Hyundai will most certainly make a loud noise when you start it. The catalytic converter is a crucial part of the exhaust system. So, when it’s missing, your engine will not be working properly.

You might also notice the irritating ‘check engine’ light appear on your dashboard. While this light can signalize various issues, a missing catalytic converter is definitely one of them.

Because of that, it’s important to get your car serviced by a mechanic when you notice this light.

Hyundai cars parked

Another sign that you might have had your Hyundai catalytic converter stolen is a lot more emissions from your vehicle.

Since the primary purpose of the catalytic converter is to reduce emissions and convert them into less harmful substances like water vapor and carbon dioxide, the emissions from your car will be more smelly and potentially toxic if this device is missing.

That’s also why it’s important to get your car checked and replace the catalytic converter as soon as possible.


Generally, Hyundai catalytic converters aren’t commonly stolen. This manufacturer limits the number of precious metals in its converters, making them less valuable for catalytic converter thieves.

That said, all cars with catalytic converters can be targeted by thieves, no matter the type. All catalytic converters have a rather high resale value, so thieves are still able to make a profit.

Sources: Hyundai Motor Company, UGRS, Science Direct, and MDPI

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