Catalytic Converter Theft in the United States

In 2020, 14,433 people reported that their catalytic converters had been stolen from their automobiles. This number continues to rise because the precious metals out of which the converters are made are worth a tremendous amount of money. You will know when you start your automobile that your converter has been stolen. Let’s talk more about this below.

Extremely Loud Engine

First of all, your engine will be much louder than it normally is when you fire it up. In fact, your first thought may be that you have a problem with the muffler. Unfortunately, the engine also gets extremely loud when the converter has been taken. If your engine is louder than normal, press down on the accelerator. If this action increases the volume of the engine, there’s a good chance the converter is gone.

Constant CEL Warning

In addition to the noise, you will also notice that the check engine light is illuminated on the dashboard. The engine control unit will keep this light on until the converter is replaced. The reason why is that the exhaust system will malfunction without a converter. Consequently, the engine control unit will be inundated with malfunction codes by the exhaust system sensors.

Problems Accelerating

It may be tempting to drive your automobile without the converter, but you will have problems accelerating the vehicle. Your automobile will jerk forward several times as it tries to pick up speed. This jerking motion will be continuous any time you press down on the accelerator. We need to replace the converter in order to smooth out the acceleration.

Problems Driving Slowly

We also need to replace the converter in order to smooth out the engine’s performance when you are driving slowly. The engine will also sputter at slow speeds because it cannot produce enough power to perform properly.

Noticeable Exhaust Odors

Finally, it really is not a good idea to drive your automobile because the missing converter can introduce exhaust into your passenger cabin. Consequently, you may end up feeling fatigued, get a headache, or get confused because you are inhaling engine exhaust. If the converter is gone, play it safe and call for a tow truck to bring your automobile to our shop.

We can inspect your exhaust system and assess the damage. Aside from the missing converter, other parts of the exhaust system may be damaged by the theft. Once we have an idea of the necessary repairs, we will provide you with a detailed estimate. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Photo by hirun from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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