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Tips to Avoid or Deter Catalytic Converter Theft in Chicago10.16.2022 | Okan Sengullu

One of the most important and expensive parts of your vehicle is the catalytic converter. This device, which is part of the exhaust system, is found underneath every gas-powered vehicle. The metals in it convert engine exhaust into nitrogen, oxygen, and other less harmful gases.

Catalytic converters are stolen at an exorbitant rate throughout major cities in the US. According to the Chicago Police Department’s most recent statistics, 3,924 catalytic converter thefts were stolen between January and July of 2022.

What makes these devices attractive to thieves is what they contain, namely precious metals more valuable than gold.

One of those metals is rhodium, which is 2021 sold for $27,900 an ounce. Catalytic converters also contain platinum, selling for $1,277 an ounce, and palladium, with a going rate of $2,896 an ounce.

A catalytic converter is visible underneath a car.

Unfortunately, catalytic converters are fairly accessible, especially on trucks and SUVs because of their higher ground clearance, and easily removed by thieves with a few simple tools and/or a saw.

Typically, a metal recycler will pay anywhere from $50 to $250 for a catalytic converter off a standard vehicle, while those stolen from a hybrid vehicle might bring thieves something in the neighborhood of $800.

If yours is stolen, a replacement will put a considerable dent in your bank account. For parts and labor, the total charge could easily cost you $2,000 to $2,500. And incidentally, Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for catalytic converter theft.

Ways to deter the thieves

At Bucaro Brothers we don’t want you to have to spend that kind of money, and here are three ways to protect yourself against theft.

  1. Etch your license number on your converter. Doing this helps law enforcement identify your part, making it less attractive to thieves. Ask your service technician if they can put your vehicle up on their lift and do this task for you. You can also have your local police department or auto repair shop spray paint the car part for you.
  2. If you can’t use a garage, park in well-lit areas. Also, make sure your auto alarm is set, and you might consider installing motion-activated outside lights wherever you normally park your car.
  3. Have an anti-theft device installed. These add a layer of protection over your catalytic converter, making them much harder to steal. Yes, they’re a bit pricey – costing around $350 or so – but far less expensive than replacing your catalytic converter.

Expert Auto Engine Repair Near Lakeview

At Bucaro Brothers, we don’t want to have to install a new catalytic convert on your vehicle, but we’re more than anxious to provide other repair services for you. All our technicians are ASE certified and trained to service and repair all makes and models, both domestic and foreign.

For good measure, we also do expert bodywork, and we’ll also be glad to etch your license number into your catalytic converter for you.

Whatever your automotive repair or maintenance needs may be, Bucaro Brothers is the place to be, so come see us today, and we’ll have you rolling and back on the road in no time at all.

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