Let’s Talk About Stolen Catalytic Converters

Talking about stolen catalytic converters can be an unpleasant topic, but if you drive a large truck or Toyota Prius, you are the most susceptible to having the converter taken from underneath the vehicle. The reason why is that large trucks have larger catalytic converters than smaller trucks or other automobiles, and the Toyota Prius’ converter is mostly precious metal. Scotty’s Automotive can help by installing a new catalytic converter if yours has been taken. Let’s talk more about this below.

Why Catalytic Converters Get Stolen

As we mentioned above, the catalytic converter, especially those found underneath Toyota Priuses, is made from precious metal. This is why people steal catalytic converters. The metal is a hot-ticket item on the black market, and it doesn’t take long to remove the catalytic converter from the exhaust system when you use a metal saw. Many thieves can extract the converter quickly and easily.

Signs of a Stolen Catalytic Converter

That’s the bad news. The good news is that you will know right away that something isn’t right if your catalytic converter has been stolen. This gives you an immediate chance to contact the authorities and your auto insurance company. Hopefully, the theft is covered by your auto insurance and you won’t have to pay for a new catalytic converter and its installation.

When you hop into the driver’s seat and crank up the engine, a stolen catalytic converter will cause

  • A loud and roaring engine
  • An illuminated check engine light
  • Jerky acceleration
  • Lagging slow speeds
  • Noticeable exhaust odors

The latter bullet point is the reason why we recommend that you have your SUV, car, or truck towed to our auto shop in Montague rather than drive it. Your vehicle’s exhaust is no longer being taken in by the catalytic converter, treated, and then pushed through the rest of the exhaust system. As such, you are driving with untreated vehicle exhaust making its way into the interior of your automobile.

Naturally, this can make you sick. In fact, it can be fatal because the exhaust is filled with carbon monoxide. If you hear a loud engine and end up with a CEL warning when you first start your automobile, it’s best to cut the engine and call for a tow truck. If you scoot underneath your automobile and see a large gap in the exhaust pipe, your catalytic converter has been stolen.

Scotty’s Automotive in Montague, NJ, is here to help, so give us a call after you have reported the catalytic converter theft to the police and your insurance company.

Photo by deepblue4you from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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