How to tell if your catalytic converter has been stolen:
You may not be able to tell your catalytic converter was stolen by looking at your car, but you’ll know as soon as you start the engine. When the catalytic converter has been removed, your vehicle will make a loud roaring sound then the car is on and it gets even louder as you push the gas pedal.
Your car might also make a sputtering sound as you change speed, or you’ll notice it’s not driving smoothly.
- Loud roar when you start the car, louder as you accelerate
- Increase in exhaust fumes, or unusual exhaust smells
- Missing parts under vehicle leading to muffler
- Uneven or sputtering acceleration due to lack of exhaust regulation
- Check engine light or inspection failures
5 ways to protect against catalytic converter theft
Consider these tips to help protect your car from catalytic converter theft:
- Know if your car is a likely target: hybrids, SUVs and trucks have valuable or easily removable catalytic converters. Etch your license plate number or VIN onto your catalytic converter — this may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the owner.
- Park in well-lit areas close to public entrances, regularly move your car’s spot or use a closed garage.
- Install an anti-theft device
- Install motion-sensitive lights and cameras in your parking area
- Paint your catalytic converter to deter buyers – some local police departments even offer free programs for painting