Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters? (11 Reasons Why)

Let’s say that a criminal stole a catalytic converter from your car. Thus, these converters are a crucial part of the car’s exhaust system, which is pretty expensive to replace.

However, if you were to look at these two pieces of equipment from a greedy thief’s standpoint, it would be easy to see why the thief might have taken them from you. Here’s what I will reveal about why people steal catalytic converters!

Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters?

1. Stealing The Platinum Out Of Them

Catalytic converters are expensive and can be a pain to replace.

Moreover, it’s motionless at high temperatures, which makes it easier to handle than other metals.

In addition, depending on the brand and type, a typical catalytic converter contains between 3 and 7 grams of platinum group metals.

Overall, platinum is a costly metal, so it’s not surprising that people would want to steal it if they could get away with it!

2. Contain Three Metals

Catalytic converters are composed of three metals, platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which provide high heat, flame, and corrosion resistance.

Because of that, due to the high rarity of these metal products, their values have skyrocketed.

As a result, the combination of these metals makes them incredibly dense and heavy that it would take a lot of effort for someone to remove one from a car without causing damage to their vehicle!

3. Resell Worth

If you’re looking for a reason people steal catalytic converters, they’re a valuable commodity.

Whereas a catalytic converter is a vital part of a car’s emissions control system, and each capacitor can hold a significant price tag on its own.

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For that reason, when a catalytic converter is stolen, it’s often because of the monetary value they hold.!

4. High-Priced Metal

Depending on the model of your car, where you live, and whether it is a new or used car, the cost of a new one can range up to $3,770.00

Apart from that, a regular catalytic converter can be stolen for anywhere between $25 and $300, and hybrid car ones can fetch up to $1,400.

Because of this, they are a desirable target for thieves looking to make a quick buck.

Due to their high price as metals, dishonest sellers frequently offer catalytic converters as stolen goods at the point of sale!

5. Easy Car Part To Steal

Catalytic converters are the most accessible car part of stealing because they are an easy target.

Not only but also, they are small and easily concealed, and they often don’t look like a threat. These can be hidden in the trunk without being noticed and don’t attract attention like an engine block.

Without a doubt, the only way for a thief to know that a catalytic converter has been removed is if they look under the hood and notice that there isn’t one anymore!

6. Materials Can Be Preserved

Materials Can Be Preserved

Catalytic converters make good material for scrap metal dealers because they’re durable and easy to work with.

However, it can also be used in other applications, such as making car fuel tanks or making jewelry.

Therefore, catalytic converters are made of metal, so if you want to sell them on Craigslist or eBay, you don’t have to worry about them rusting or corroding—they’ll last for decades!

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7. One Of The Greatest Environmental Inventions Of All Time

By converting toxins into less hazardous gasses like carbon dioxide and water vapor, catalytic converters assist automakers in adhering to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict fuel emission requirements.

Aside from that, these metals are of particular importance because of how well they transform hazardous emissions generated by a car’s engines.

Above all, because they are environmentally stable, they are not likely to be impacted by other gasoline additives!

8. Demand For Their Metals

Imagine something that costs ten times as much as gold, and there’s quite a bit of that in the catalytic converter if you think gold is precious.

For that account, catalytic converters are made from precious metals such as platinum and palladium, which are sought-after commodities that can be used for silvers, industrial applications, and more.

Which is why these metals have increasingly become more valuable over time as demand for them increases due to their scarcity and rising demand!

9. Can Drive Without Your Converter

Although a catalytic converter is not strictly necessary for a car to operate, driving without one is prohibited.

However, driving without a catalytic converter won’t cause any damage to your engine or vehicle in any way. Even if it works, going without one is not always a good idea.

Consequently, because they can be accessed from a vehicle’s underside and thieves are aware that doing so won’t affect a car’s ability to drive, they are reasonably straightforward for criminals to take!

10. Catalytic Converters Are Unmarked

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, catalytic converters are the most stolen component in vehicles.

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In fact, they are so easy to steal that thieves can take them right off their vehicles without any signs of tampering.

As you can see, thieves are taking catalytic converters from abandoned unmarked vehicles and removing their parts elsewhere!

11. Pandemic Opportunity

Due to pandemic limitations, many cars and fleet vehicles were left parked in the exact location for extended periods throughout the pandemic.

Due to the fact that nobody was paying attention to them and the sudden increase in the value of the precious metals they contain, these cars may have made ideal targets for thieves.

As a result, converters can be taken out of a car in as little as possible, only 90 seconds!

To know more, you can also read our posts on why F1 cars spark, why deer run into cars, and why cars leak oil.


Catalytic converter theft is a persistent issue. Unfortunately, the number of recorded instances has increased dramatically in the last few years.

You can see that some of the contributing causes are that thieves find it attractive to steal it because it contains three metals and can be sold for a profit.

In the end, the stealing of catalytic converters will not be solved anytime soon unless more car companies switch to a more defensive design that can lor hinder the simple removal of catalytic converters!

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