For nearly fifty years, the catalytic converter has been an essential component of an automobile’s emission and exhaust system. These devices have also been in the news in recent years, as they are frequently stolen from the underneath of cars.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
First appearing onto the automotive scene around 1975, a catalytic converter is an oval-shaped device that is connected to a car’s exhaust system. The converter receives toxic gasses from a car’s engine, and transforms it into less harmful pollutants. This is accomplished through a chemical reaction process inside the unit.
What is the Purpose of a Catalytic Converter?
The principle purpose of a catalytic converter is to reduce the amount of emission pollution a gasoline or diesel engine produces while running. Starting in the 1970s, many people were becoming concerned about the air quality in populated areas, as it related to the amount of pollution automobiles were producing.
Where is the Catalytic Converter Located on a Car?
The catalytic converter is normally located about halfway down a car’s exhaust pipe, between the engine and the vehicle’s muffler.
How Do Catalytic Converters Work?
When a car’s exhaust gases travel through a heated catalytic converter, several chemical reactions take place that reduce the amount of toxic fumes the vehicle emits into the air.
What is Inside a Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter has multiple components within its metal container that make it work. When heated, a ceramic material, known as a substrate provides a suitable surface area for the unit’s chemical reactions to take place.
The precious metals Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), and Rhodium (Rh) are also contained in the device, which are responsible for the chemical reaction that cleans a car’s exhaust before it is released into the atmosphere.
Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?
Catalytic converters are often stolen because they contain the precious metals, Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), and Rhodium (Rh). After removing the converter from a car, thieves extract these valuable metals from the device and sell them. These metals are considered rare, as they are mined mostly in South Africa and Russia.[/caption]
Criminal activity involving catalytic converters has skyrocketed in recent years, partly due to supplies being adversely affected by the worldwide Covid Pandemic.
How Are Catalytic Converters Stolen?
Stealing a catalytic converter from a vehicle is not easy. Thieves climb under a car with a reciprocating saw and cut the unit off the exhaust system. This process is extremely noisy, but only takes several minutes to do.
Are Catalytic Converter Thefts Covered By Insurance?
If an auto owner has Comprehensive coverage on their policy, the theft of a catalytic converter would be covered.
What To Do If Your Catalytic Converter is Stolen
Should you become the unfortunate victim of a catalytic converter theft, the first thing to do is remain calm. Call the police and file a report. It is also important to alert your insurance company about the theft that has occurred.
Car-X Can Help
Your friendly, local Car-X Tire & Auto can help if your catalytic converter is stolen from your vehicle. Our experienced technicians will replace the unit and restore your car’s exhaust system back to normal operation. We’ve been helping motorists with all types of car repairs since 1971, and we are here to assist you too.