Are Kia Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal? (Too Easy?)

The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust emission system and helps turn harmful substances produced during internal combustion into less toxic ones. As a result, the presence of this device makes fuel-powered cars less harmful to the environment.

Unfortunately, catalytic converters have become a common target for thieves, especially in recent years. Some cars are more at risk, either because of the location of the converter or the concentration of precious metals.

So, what about Kia vehicles? Are Kia catalytic converters easy to steal? Are they even targets?

Are Kia Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

Sadly for all Kia owners, the catalytic converters in these vehicles are very easy to steal. There’s a lot of room underneath the vehicle for thieves to slide in and remove the catalytic converter. Plus, this device is located in an accessible location.

It’s important to take some precautions to lower your risk of theft if you own a Kia. Luckily, there are many things you can do to deter thieves from stealing from your car. So, read on to find out more.

Why are Kia catalytic converters easy to steal?

Kia car parked

Kia catalytic converters are very easy to remove and steal for several reasons.

Firstly, they’re located in a very accessible location. As a result, thieves are able to slide under the vehicle with no trouble and uninstall this device

There’s also plenty of space underneath most Kia models. This makes maneuvering under the car easy for thieves, allowing them to steal the catalytic converter fast without being noticed.

Because of that, Kia catalytic converter theft is quite common.

Do all Kia vehicles have catalytic converters?

Kia rear

All modern fuel-powered vehicles are equipped with catalytic converts to help offset their negative impact on the environment. This means that all cars that Kia currently manufactures have catalytic converters.  

Aside from fuel-powered cars, Kia manufactures hybrids. Hybrid vehicles, such as Kia Sorento, can be powered by fossil fuels, electricity, or the two at the same time, depending on the type of hybrid.

Hybrid catalytic converters are more valuable than those from traditional vehicles. This is because these catalytic converters don’t have to work as hard to convert toxic substances into less harmful ones.

As a result, Kia hybrid vehicles are even more susceptible to catalytic converter theft.

Kia also produces an all-electric vehicle: Kia Niro EV. Fully electric vehicles rely on electricity to be powered. As a result, there’s no internal combustion happening, which makes them completely emission-free.

Hence, all-electric vehicles, such as the Kia Niro EV, don’t have catalytic converters.

Where is the catalytic converter located on a Kia vehicle?

One of the top reasons why Kia catalytic converters are being stolen is because of their location on the vehicle.

On all Kia models, the catalytic converter is located on the underside of the vehicle. It makes stealing this device very easy since it’s very accessible and easily reachable.

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

White Kia parked

Generally speaking, all cars that have catalytic converters can become targets for catalytic converter theft. That said, certain models and types of cars are more prone than others.

Kias are already at an increased risk of catalytic converter theft as a result of this device’s location in the vehicle. So, if you own a Kia, no matter what model, you should be careful about your car’s safety.

What’s more, Kia manufactures several hybrids and SUVs. Hybrids have more valuable catalytic converters than fuel-powered vehicles, which means there targeted most often. So, models like Kia Sorento are common targets.

SUVs, on the other hand, are higher off the ground, which gives thieves more space to get under the vehicles and remove the catalytic converters.

So, models such as the XCeed, Stonic, Niro, and Sportage can be targeted more frequently than other models.

Can you drive a Kia without the catalytic converter?

Mechanic working

From a purely technical point of view, it’s possible to drive a Kia without a catalytic converter. But it’s not recommended to do so in the long run for several reasons.

The catalytic converter plays a crucial role in maintaining proper oxygen levels in the engine. So, if it’s missing, you might experience engine problems as well as the dreaded ‘check engine’ light.

In addition, the catalytic converter converts harmful substances produced during internal combustion into less toxic ones. Because of that, your car is harmful to the environment and potentially your health if you choose to drive it without the catalytic converter.

So, if you suspect that you’ve had your catalytic converter stolen, be sure to get your car serviced by a mechanic.

How can you lower your risk of Kia catalytic converter theft?

Car garage

Now that you’re aware that Kia cars are common targets for catalytic converter theft, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with ways to lower your risk of becoming a victim.

First of all, be sure to park your car in a private garage. Not allowing thieves any access to your vehicle greatly lowers your risk of catalytic converter theft as well as damage to your vehicle as a whole.

If that’s not possible, try parking your car close to your house in a public area. That way, you can keep an eye on your vehicle and notify the authorities if you notice something suspicious.

If you live in an area that has a high rate of catalytic converter theft, you can invest in an anti-theft device. This can help protect your catalytic converter and greatly minimize your risk.

To further protect themselves from catalytic converter theft, some people even paint the device. This lowers its value and deters thieves from stealing it.

So, as you can see, there are many things you can do to protect your vehicle.


As mentioned above, Kia cars are very prone to catalytic converter theft. In these vehicles, the catalytic converter is located in an accessible location that’s easy for thieves to reach and steal the device.

Because of that, it’s important to take some safety precautions to deter thieves from targeting your car. That way, you can also save yourself a lot of money on replacing the stolen catalytic converter.

Sources: Kia, Research Gate, Science Direct, and Academia

Please follow and like us: