Catalytic converters are an important part of a car’s exhaust system, as they help to reduce harmful emissions by converting them into less toxic substances.
Unfortunately, catalytic converters are also a popular target for thieves for a number of reasons.
In this blog post, we will discuss why are Volkswagen catalytic converters stolen and some steps you can take to protect your car.
Why are Volkswagen Catalytic Converters Stolen?
The following are prominent reasons behind the surge in Volkswagen catalytic converters around the world and a detailed explanation on how you can easily avoid it.
1. Contains precious metals
First and foremost, it’s important to understand why catalytic converters are attractive to thieves.
The main reason is that they contain precious metals such as platinum and rhodium, which are sold for a high price.
This makes catalytic converters an appealing target for thieves looking to make a quick buck.
2. Easy to remove
Volkswagen catalytic converters are very easy to remove which makes thieves target them more frequently than other brands that are not so easy.
Removing a catalytic converter is very easy in Volkswagen because of the absence of a complex protection system around it.
3. Safer to steal than whole car
Stealing a catalytic converter is safer than stealing the whole car.
The chances of escaping with a stolen car are lesser than the chances of getting away with a catalytic converter.
If a thief steals the complete car, he or she can be easily tracked down.
Accessibility is another reason why Volkswagen‘s catalytic converter is very popular with thieves.
Some popular Volkswagen‘s have easy access to the position of their catalytic converters, as well as enough room especially on the SUVs.
By crawling under the Volkswagen, you can get to the catalytic converter without any difficulty or physical barrier.
How to prevent thieves from stealing your catalytic converter?
Below are some ways to prevent thieves from stealing your car’s catalytic converter.
1. Buy a catalytic converter shield
Thieves find it easy to steal catalytic converters because of their positioning and easy accessibility.
However, buying a good catalytic converter shield from a well-recognized company is the best and safest method of preventing access to it because it serves as an impediment to their plans.
Installing a catalytic converter shield is the best way towards preventing thieves from stealing it and causing you discomfort and spending hundreds of dollars trying to fix it.
2. Park in a well-lit and visible area
This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your catalytic converter without being seen.
If the area your car is parked has adequate security light, thieves will always find it difficult to steal from the car because of the fear of being seen by people and will always resort to stealing from an area where light is not available.
3. Install a security device
Another effective way to protect your catalytic converter is to install a security device on your car.
There are several options available, including physical barriers that can be attached to the bottom of your car, as well as alarms that are triggered when someone tries to access your catalytic converter.
There are several types of these devices and they can be installed easily by the owner, while others may require the assistance of a professional.
4. Etch your VIN on your catalytic converter
Another method adopted is to etch your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) onto the catalytic converter, which will make it more difficult for thieves to sell the stolen converter.
You can also invest in a VIN etching kit, which will allow you to easily mark other valuable parts of your car, such as the windows and wheels.
How to know if your catalytic converter is stolen?
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, it can cause a variety of problems for your vehicle.
Here are some signs to look for to determine if your catalytic converter has been stolen:
1. Check the underside of your vehicle
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, you may be able to see it missing when you look under your vehicle.
Be sure to check for any other damage or tampering to the exhaust system as well.
This can include cuts or scratches on the exhaust pipes or the catalytic converter itself.
2. Listen for unusual noises
If your catalytic converter has been stolen, your vehicle may make unusual noises when you start it up.
These noises may include a loud rumbling or buzzing sound coming from the exhaust system.
3. Notice a decrease in performance
A stolen catalytic converter can cause your vehicle to lose power and experience a decrease in performance.
This can make it difficult to accelerate and may cause your vehicle to stall or shut off unexpectedly.
4. Large emission of smoke
I was driving a while back and I saw a car on the road emitting heavy smoke from the exhaust pipe while also making a loud noise.
I asked the driver to pull over and check his catalytic converter. He checked it and confirmed what I suspected, the catalytic converter was gone!
5. More fuel consumption
When your Volkswagen fuel consumption suddenly spikes, it may be because the catalytic converter has been stolen.
There are several reasons why Volkswagen catalytic converters are increasingly being stolen, which include their worth, ease of removal and accessibility.
If you suspect that your catalytic converter has been stolen, it’s important to act quickly.
Contact your local law enforcement agency to report the theft and have them investigate.
You should also have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic to determine the extent of the damage and to have the catalytic converter replaced if necessary.