Are Volvo Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal

Are Volvo Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal? (3-Minute Read)

The catalytic converter is an essential part of the exhaust emission system in all fuel-powered vehicles these days. It helps filter out harmful chemicals produced during internal combustion and turn them into less toxic ones like water vapor and carbon dioxide.

To do that, catalytic converters contain precious metals. Unfortunately, it also makes this part of the exhaust system much more likely to be stolen since it can be sold for high prices.

But which brand of car is most likely to be a target for catalytic converter theft? Let’s start with one of the most common ones: Volvo.

So, are Volvo catalytic converters easy to steal?

Are Volvo Catalytic Converters Easy To Steal?

  • Luckily for Volvo owners, these vehicles aren’t very common targets for catalytic converter thieves. In most models, the catalytic converter is located deep in the exhaust system, making it hard to access for thieves. They’re more likely to choose different cars, especially those with a more accessible catalytic converter.
  • Still, all cars that have a catalytic converter are at risk of being targeted by thieves. In particular, Volvo manufactures several SUVs, station wagons, and sedans, which are higher off the ground, giving thieves more space to remove the catalytic converter and steal it.

So, you should be careful no matter what type of vehicle you have.

Why are Volvo catalytic converters hard to steal?

Red Volvo

Most Volvo models are equipped with catalytic converters that aren’t easily accessible from underneath the vehicle. They’re usually located deep in the exhaust system, which makes removing and stealing them very complicated for thieves.

So, they’re not common targets for catalytic converter theft.

With that said, some Volvo models have two or even four catalytic converters. When that’s the case, the others might be located underneath the vehicle and much easier to remove.

As a result, Volvo cars might still be targets for catalytic converter thieves, even if not very common.

Do all Volvo vehicles have catalytic converters?

Black Volvo SUV

The majority of automobile vehicles that Volvo produces are fuel-powered. This means that they need a catalytic converter to purify the exhaust emissions to ensure that the car is as neutral for the environment as possible.

But, in addition to fuel-powered cars, Volvo also makes all-electric vehicles, such as the XC40 Recharge.

All-electric cars don’t rely on internal combustion to power the vehicle, which means that they don’t need a catalytic converter.

So, if you own a Volvo all-electric car, you don’t have to worry about having your catalytic converter stolen since this type of car isn’t equipped with it.

Where is the catalytic converter located on a Volvo car?

Volvo charging

In most Volvo models, the catalytic converter is located deep inside the exhaust system. This makes it harder to steal for thieves, which means that Volvo cars aren’t very common targets for catalytic converter theft.

What’s more, many Volvo vehicles have two catalytic converters; one that’s deep in the exhaust system and the other underneath the vehicles.

In some models, though, these two catalytic converters might look like one unit, which reduces the risk of theft.

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

Volvo driving

All fuel-powered vehicles that Volvo manufactures can become targets for catalytic converter theft. Even though it’s much harder to remove and steal these catalytic converters, these vehicles can still become targets.

That said, the most common targets are often hybrid vehicles, and Volvo produces several models.

Hybrids are targeted the most since their catalytic converters don’t need to work as hard to remove toxic substances and turn them into less harmful ones.

This makes catalytic converters more expensive, as they contain a higher concentration of precious metals and a lower concentration of cheaper metals.

So, Volvo hybrid models, such as the XC60 Recharge, XC90 Recharge, or S60 Recharge, are more likely to become targets than other non-hybrid models.

Can you drive a Volvo without the catalytic converter?

Volvo vintage

If the worst happened and you had your catalytic converter stolen, you can still drive your Volvo until you get it replaced. Just like other cars, Volvos can be used without the catalytic converter but not for a long period of time.

The catalytic converter is an integral part of the exhaust system. So, without it, the car won’t function as well as it should.

Plus, driving a car without a catalytic converter is illegal in some regions of the world.

How can you avoid Volvo catalytic converter theft?

New Volvo cars parked

Even though most Volvo models aren’t common targets for catalytic converter thieves, it doesn’t mean that theft doesn’t happen at all. After all, it’s important to remember that all cars that have catalytic converters are potentially at risk.

Luckily, there are several ways you can protect your car from becoming a target.

First of all, be sure to park your car in a private or personal garage. Doing so lowers your risk of having your catalytic converter stolen by completely denying thieves access to your car.

In addition, this also protects your car from theft and damage altogether.

When out and about, be sure to park in well-lit areas close to public entrances. While stealing the catalytic converter doesn’t take much time, thieves still need some privacy to avoid being noticed.

As a result, parking your car in public areas during the day helps protect your car.

Some people also choose to invest in anti-theft devices. While these can be quite pricey, they’re still much cheaper than replacing the catalytic converter after it’s been stolen.

Anti-theft devices are installed directly on the catalytic converter or the whole exhaust system. They consist of a hard wire that’s difficult to cut using traditional equipment. So, your catalytic converter is protected from theft.


If you own a Volvo vehicle, you can rest assured that your car isn’t a common target for catalytic converter thieves.

Most Volvo models have their catalytic converter mounted deep in the exhaust system, making it harder to be removed.

Still, all cars that do have catalytic converters can be targeted. So, it’s important to take some safety precautions to lower your risk as much as possible.

Sources: Volvo, Research Gate, Science Daily, and SAGE Journals

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