theft deterrent device
Catalytic converters are popular targets among thieves because they contain valuable precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
Late-model pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs are particularly vulnerable due to their high ground clearance and removable bolt-on converters.
Even welded-on converters can be easily cut off.
The catalytic converters of Toyota Prius vehicles, known for their excellent condition, are also frequently stolen.
Thieves often use pipe cutters to remove converters discreetly, but this method can result in damage to other vehicle components, including the alternator, wiring, and fuel lines.
The surge in metal prices during the early 2000s commodities boom resulted in a substantial increase in converter theft.
Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost more than $1,000, and even more if the vehicle sustains damage during the theft.
Catalytic converter theft saw a dramatic rise in the United States in the late 2010s to early 2020s, fueled by the escalating prices of the metals contained within.
In the UK, the shortage of converters led to long wait times to replace stolen ones, as older-model hybrids, like Toyota’s, with higher precious metal content became a favored target of thieves.
In 2021, a new trend emerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where converters were being stolen for use in drug production.
Because this problem seems to be here to stay, many companies have developed solutions to protect your property, and anti-theft devices have been developed, read our post here
because catalytic converters contain expensive precious metals, theft of them is an issue that is spreading throughout the world.
Late-model pickup trucks and SUVs, as well as other vehicles with high ground clearance and easily accessible converters, are particularly at risk.
The problem has only gotten worse as a result of the recent spike in metal prices, which has multiplied theft in the US and caused shortages in other nations.
In rare instances, the theft of converters is even used to finance illicit operations like the production of drugs.
It is crucial for car owners to implement security measures to safeguard their vehicles and stop catalytic converter theft.
Best Catalytic Converter Security Devices
we will talk about the best catalytic converter security devices, and you can view this video about a review of security systems for catalytic converters.
Some of these gadgets were put to the test by Donut Media!
Catalytic converters play an important role in reducing harmful emissions from vehicles, but they are also a popular target for thieves.
With the rise in metal prices and the valuable metals found inside, it’s important to take steps to protect your catalytic converter from theft.
Catalytic converters can be expensive, with some costing over $2,000, and they are also highly susceptible to theft.
In fact, they can be stolen in less than two minutes, making them an attractive target for thieves.
As a result, owners of vehicles with multiple converters can face significant expenses.
To help you safeguard your catalytic converters, we have reviewed the most popular security devices on the market.
By understanding the pros and cons of each device, you can make an informed decision on which one is right for your vehicle.
Underbody Catalytic Converter Strap/Wires (Cat Clamp)
This security system consists of steel cables that wrap around the catalytic converter, making it difficult for thieves to saw through.
The cables are tightly fitted but allow for a small amount of movement. However, the strength of the steel cables makes it challenging to cut through.
This device may not fit every vehicle, and installation can be difficult, especially for large or small cars. It can also cause a rattling noise when driving and may not provide enough protection for full-sized pickups.
Additionally, it may require modifications to fit certain vehicles and can make the car look messy when viewed from underneath.
- Difficult to cut through
- Resistant to rust
- May not fit every vehicle
- Difficult to install
- Can cause a rattling noise
- May need modifications
- Not aesthetically pleasing
- May be cut with an angle grinder
- Multiple kits are required for multiple converters
- Can potentially damage the vehicle if cables become loose
Underbody Catalytic Converter Alarm
Underbody alarms are motion or heat-sensitive devices that activate when the exhaust system is jostled or when a sudden temperature change is detected. Some alarms are custom-made to fit a specific model of vehicle, but they can come with a higher price tag due to increased engineering and manufacturing costs.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Universal fit
- May need to be manually armed and disarmed
- Not waterproof
- Potential for false alarms
- Sensitive to moisture
- Motion sensors may need regular maintenance
Anti-Theft Catalytic Converter Stickers
Anti-theft stickers are cost-effective visual deterrents that warn potential thieves that the catalytic converter is fitted with a security device.
They should be used in conjunction with other security systems to provide maximum protection.
However, the stickers need to be displayed in a prominent area, and thieves working underneath the vehicle may not even look for them.
- Visual deterrent
- Can be attached to any vehicle
- Difficult to see at night
- Easily peeled off
- May fade in the sun
- May not be noticeable to thieves
- Offers no physical security system
- Easily ignored
Catalytic Converter Shields
Catalytic converter shields, also known as cat shields, are physical metal barriers that attach to the underside of a vehicle and cover the catalytic converter.
The best shields come with optional tamper-proof screws for additional security and should be installed by a professional.
The shields use the structural rigidity of the vehicle’s chassis to make them difficult to remove by thieves.
When choosing a cat shield, consider the material it is made of. 304 stainless steel is more dense and rigid than aluminum and is resistant to corrosion, making it a better choice for long-term protection.
- The best catalytic converter security system for your vehicle
- Rust resistant
- Can be fitted with optional extras like tamper-proof screws for even greater security
- Incredibly difficult to cut through
- Arduous to remove or bypass by thieves
- Can be easily removed with the supplied security key
- Not all catalytic converter shields offer the same level of protection
- May need to be installed by a mechanic
When choosing the right catalytic converter security device for your vehicle, consider the following:
- The type of vehicle you drive: Depending on the size and shape of your vehicle, certain security devices may not be suitable. Consider whether a strap or wire, alarm, sticker, or shield will be appropriate for your vehicle.
- Your budget: Some catalytic converter security devices can be more expensive than others. Make sure you find a solution that fits within your budget and provides adequate protection for your needs.
- The level of protection you require: Consider how often you park your vehicle in high-risk areas, and what level of security you require to feel confident that your catalytic converter won’t be stolen.
- Ease of installation: Some security devices can be installed yourself, while others will require a professional. Consider the time and effort required to install the security device, and whether you’re comfortable doing it yourself.
- Maintenance requirements: Some security devices may require regular cleaning or maintenance to ensure they remain effective. Consider the time and effort required to keep the device functioning properly.
With these factors in mind, you can choose the right catalytic converter security device for your vehicle and ensure that your investment is protected.
How To Pick The Best Vehicle Catalytic Converter Security Device
After looking at the most popular catalytic converter theft deterrents, you can choose the one that’s best for your car based on your budget and the level of protection you require.
As thieves discover how to get through less expensive security measures, owners of highly targeted vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Toyota Tacoma may decide to invest in better-than-average security.
However, the cost isn’t everything.
A good security measure will be created to fit a particular vehicle and constructed of materials that are difficult to cut, work around, or remove.