Are Subaru Outback Catalytic Converters Easy to Steal

Are Subaru Outback Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal? (Who Knew)

Catalytic converters are a requirement for all fuel-powered vehicles these days.

They help turn harmful substances produced during internal combustion into less toxic ones, such as water vapor and carbon dioxide, making automobile vehicles less harmful to the environment.

Unfortunately, these catalytic converters have become a common target for thieves since they can be sold for high prices.

Some car models are more susceptible to catalytic converter theft, mostly due to the location of this exhaust emission control device on the car.

Let’s take a look at one model, for example. Are Subaru Outback catalytic converters easy to steal? Or easier than other car models?

Are Subaru Outback Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

Fortunately for all Subaru Outback owners, the catalytic converter on this car model is hard to get to. As a result, this Subaru model is very unlikely to have its catalytic converter stolen, as compared to other car models with catalytic converters that are more accessible.

Nevertheless, every catalytic converter can be stolen, and this includes those installed on a Subaru Outback. So, it’s still important to make your car as unlikely to have a catalytic converter stolen as possible.

How easy it is to steal a Subaru Outback catalytic converter?

catalytic converters

If you’re a Subaru Outback owner, you can rest easy: catalytic converts on this type of car are not very easy to steal.

On most models, it’s rather hard to get to the catalytic converter, which doesn’t make this car a very common target for thieves.

This car also has a secondary catalytic converter, which is slightly more accessible, though. But, still, it’s not convenient enough for theft as compared to other car models.

This is good news for all owners of Subaru Outback cars since replacing a catalytic converter is quite an expensive ordeal.

Having said that, Subaru Outback is a mid-size SUV, and this type of car is one of the most common targets for catalytic converters thieves. So, it’s important to still be careful and take various precautions. 

How can you tell if you had a Subaru Outback catalytic converter stolen?

Mechanic under the car

Unless you’re a specialist or have a trained eye, it can be pretty hard to figure out whether you had your catalytic converter stolen just by looking at the car.

But there are other obvious signs that your vehicle might be missing this device.

First of all, check how your car sounds. When a car is missing its catalytic converter, it tends to be much louder than usual.

This especially means a loud noise when starting the car and even more noise as you accelerate.

Since there’s no exhaust control, your car will also produce more exhaust fumes with a distinct and bad smell. This is one of the most common signs that your car is missing its catalytic converter or that the one you have is malfunctioning.

Some other signs that you might have had your catalytic converter stolen include visible missing parts underneath the car, uneven acceleration due to lack of exhaust regulation, and overall lower performance.

So, if you notice any of these signs, you might want to get your car serviced to figure out what’s wrong and whether some parts are missing.

Where is the catalytic converter on a Subaru Outback located?

The precise location of the catalytic converter on a Subaru Outback depends on the exact model and the year of production. The location can also slightly differ based on the size of your car.

Generally, though, it’s quite easy to locate a catalytic convert on most cars. The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system, which is around the same place in almost all car brands and models.

On a Subaru Outback, the catalytic converter is somewhere between the tailpipe and the intake manifolds.

Even though it might sound like it’s easy to locate the catalytic converter on a Subaru Outback, this device is not that easy to steal.

Some models might have the catalytic converter bolted or welded, making it much harder for thieves to remove. It’s also not that easy to access unless the car is jacked up.

How can you protect your Subaru Outback catalytic converter from theft?

Protecting the car

Even though the catalytic converter on a Subaru Outback is hidden and not easily accessible, theft still does happen.

This means that it’s a good idea to take some precautions to prevent it from happening and save yourself lots of money that comes with buying a replacement.

One of the best methods of catalytic converter theft prevention is to deny access altogether.

If you can, park your car in a private garage or near your house, where you can keep an eye on anything suspicious that might be happening.

If you don’t have a garage, it’s a good idea to regularly change the spot where you park your car. That way, it’s harder for thieves to predict where your car will be, which reduces the risk of theft.

Car parking garage

When away, be sure to park your car in well-lit areas, close to public entrances. This reduces the risk that your car will become an easy target.

What’s more, some experts even recommend painting your catalytic converter. This deters buyers and makes the catalytic converter less likely to be stolen since it’s no longer as valuable.

You can also install an anti-theft device on your car or directly on the catalytic converter. Or you can invest in a motion-sensitive camera or motion detector and install them right where you park.

Whatever you choose to do, these are all good methods to prevent catalytic converter theft.


As you can see, it’s not that easy to steal a Subaru Outback catalytic converter. On most types of this car, the catalytic converter is quite hidden, making it difficult for thieves to remove.

So, this car is rarely a common target for the theft of this device.

Still, catalytic convert theft can happen with any car model. So, it’s a good idea to take some preventative measures to ensure that you won’t have your catalytic converter stolen.

Sources: Subaru Outback, Consumer Reports, and Science Direct

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