catalytic converter theft

A catalytic converter is a device used in automobiles to convert harmful emissions to lesser toxic gases before being released into the atmosphere. 

The equipment is made with small amounts of metals such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These metals, even in trace amounts, are precious. 

A catalytic converter is easily accessible on the underside of a vehicle. This makes it an easy target for thieves. A catalytic converter can be stolen within minutes, if not seconds, using a wrench or a hacksaw.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s official website states that in the United States, the theft of catalytic converters saw a sharp rise from 2019 to 2020, from 3,389 to 14, 433.

Furthermore, it can cost you anywhere between $945-$2475 to replace a stolen catalytic converter. This could be more than your car’s worth and stress out your wallet.

Although catalytic converter theft is covered by insurance if you purchased comprehensive coverage, filling out a claim and then replacing your catalytic converter takes a lot of time and energy.

What if there is a way to make sure your catalytic converter isn’t stolen in the first place? That would undoubtedly be a better alternative.

Let us look at some catalytic converter anti-theft devices to bring you peace of mind.

Best Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Devices

Even though catalytic convertor theft is seeing a sharp rise in recent times, there aren’t many anti-theft devices that can work well with all vehicles.

Nonetheless, when such products are launched, I will be updating this list.

Currently, there are only a few anti-theft devices for catalytic converters, such as:

  • Protection shields
  • Alarms
  • Clamps or cages to secure the cat converter
  • High-strength cables are attached to the catalytic converter and the car’s frame

Let’s discuss these catalytic converter anti-theft devices in detail.

1. Protection Shield

A protection shield is a strong metal plate fitted over the catalytic converter. This makes it difficult and almost impossible to remove the catalytic converter without taking too much time or being noticed.

However, since hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius are most susceptible to cat converter thefts, most of the protection shields (for now) are made specifically for such vehicles.

a) LOSTAR Catalytic Converter Protection Shield (Toyota Prius 2016-2022) 

protection shield

Construction: Aluminium

Compatible with: Prius (2016 to 2022)

Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 0.8 inches (L x W x H)

Weight: 3.24 pounds

A lightweight product that will force any thief to walk away from your car. The product comes with bolts to fix the shield to your vehicle, and it is as simple as drilling a few holes.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Top-quality with low price

Cons

  • No viewing area to see the model/serial number of the cat converter

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b) Cat Security – Catalytic Converter Protection Shield (Toyota Prius 2010-2015)

cat security

Construction: Aluminium

Compatible with: Prius (2010 to 2015)

Dimensions: 24.5 x 19 x 0.5 inches (Lx W x H)

A product from one of the top catalytic convertor shield brands, the Cat Security protection shield does not require any welding as it can be bolted onto the vehicle.

Along with corrosion-resistant construction, the shield has holes for appropriate ventilation.

Pros

  • It comes with hardware like bolts and nails
  • Fits well
  • Light Weight

Cons

  • Need specific tools to install (jacks, ramps, riveters, etc.)

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C) Cat Security Protection shield (Toyota Prius 2016-2021)

cat converter protector

Construction: Aluminium

Compatible with: Prius (2016 to 2021)

Dimensions: 24.5 x 19 x 0.5 inches (L x W x H)

This Cat Security product does not require any welding and can be bolted onto the vehicle, much like the previous product. However, it would be best if you opted for professional installation.

The shield will protect the catalytic converter as well as the O2 sensor. Along with corrosion-resistant construction, the shield has holes for adequate ventilation.

Pros

  • Does not require welding
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Fits well

Cons

  • Require additional tools for installation
  • Rattling sound if not installed correctly

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2. Alarm Systems

A sensitive alarm system will deter theft attempts, including your catalytic converter.

Since currently there are very few catalytic converter anti-theft devices for all kinds of vehicles, an alarm is probably one of the best catalytic converter anti-theft devices.

a) Viper 350 PLUS 3105V 1

viper alarm

Dimensions:  7.4 x 4.1 x 5.5 inches (L x W x H)

Compatible with: All Vehicles

The 350 Plus 3105V 1 delivers on the quality assurance of Viper, one of the most well-known brands in the field.

The alarm system will protect your vehicle from theft while also providing GPS tracking and a remote starter.

The alarm works in two stages: 

The first stage indicates a warning which could be an accidental touch on your car.

The second stage rings a loud alarm with LEDs flashing over your car. This will prevent your catalytic converter theft for sure.

The alarm also features a FailSafe starter kill system and Anti-Car Jacking Mode, making switching on the ignition practically impossible. 

Other notable features include a remote-control range of 100 meters and keyless entry.

Pros

  • GPS tracking.
  • The engine doesn’t start unless the correct key is used.
  • 100-meter range

Cons

  • None

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b) Prestige APS997Z Alarm

alarm for catalytic converter

Dimensions: 7.5 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches (L x W x H)
Compatible with: All vehicles

This affordable car alarm for catalytic converter theft has remote start functionality and features a one-mile range.
The remote has an LCD screen where you receive notifications and updates. You can also use an app to make your smartphone the remote control, eliminating the need to carry one.

The product comes with a two-stage shock sensor: an initial warning followed by a loud alarm and flashing parking lights.

Other prominent features include automatic arming and locking, illuminated entry, and a multi-tone siren.

Pros

  • 1-mile range
  • You can replace the remote with a smartphone
  • Shock sensor

Cons

  • Remote quality is questionable

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3. Cages/Clamps/Cables

a) Cat Clamp Standard Kit

anti theft device for catalytic converter

Exterior: Powder-coated galvanized steel

Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 3 inches (L x W x H)

Compatible with: All vehicles

The Cat Clamp forms a cage around the catalytic converter using clamps and cables. It creates a protective barrier around your cat converter and acts as a great visual deterrent.

The steel clamps are powder coated, while the ropes are galvanized to make them durable and resistant to corrosion. 

Unlike some products discussed here, the Cat Clamp is a Universal Fit, which you can use on any vehicle. 

However, it might not be that easy to install, and you may need to visit a professional.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Universal fit

Cons

  • Produces rattling sound

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b) Cat Strap/ Cateye Alarm 

A cat strap is a belt attached to the car’s catalytic converter and the vehicle’s frame, securing your cat converter. The strap is made with a rugged steel strip and aircraft-grade steel cables. 

This makes it impossible to cut through and reach the catalytic converter. The strap is orange in color, which acts as a great visual deterrent.

The cateye alarm works pretty much the same as a regular alarm; however, the sensor is fixed near the catalytic converter, making it a specialized alarm system with better performance than common car alarms. It is among the best catalytic converter anti-theft devices under a budget.

Pros

  • Complete security for the catalytic converter
  • Top-performing product

Cons

  • None

Are Catalytic Converter Anti Theft Devices Worth It? Conclusion

A catalytic converter is hell expensive due to the fact that it uses some of the most precious metals to convert harmful emission into less harmful ones. And that’s what makes them one of the most stolen car parts in the world. If you don’t want a thief to easily steal your car’s catalytic converter then you must invest in anti-theft devices for catalytic converters. They will give you peace of mind that your car is safe and hence they are definitely worth it.

FAQs

Why Do Catalytic Converters Stolen So Often?

There are a couple of reasons for that first of all they are very easy to steal and secondly, they are very expensive and a thief gets a really good price for them.

Which Cars Are Most Vulnerable To Catalytic Converter Theft

Cars that are most vulnerable to catalytic converter theft are hybrid cars, old cars, and SUVs.

What Are The Signs Of Stolen Catalytic Converter

Your car will start making a loud noise, and you will find missing components if you look under the vehicle.