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The Different Types of Catalytic Converters People Steal

Published March 9th, 2023 by 3DK9 LLC

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, thefts of catalytic converters increased by 1,215% between 2019 and 2022. Thieves target these components for their valuable metals. They can sell them on the black market for anywhere from $20 to $350.

The replacement cost for a stolen catalytic converter can average over $2,500. This depends on the make and model of the vehicle.

Besides the cost of the replacement part, vehicle owners may also need to pay for the labor involved. There are different types of catalytic converters that thieves target. In this blog post, we will explore these types in more detail.

Understanding the different types of catalytic converters can help car owners better protect their vehicles from theft.

What are Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters are important parts of a car's exhaust system. They help to reduce the release of harmful emissions into the environment. The theft of converters from cars is on the rise.

This is because of their valuable metals which include platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Thieves can sell these metals for a high price, leaving car owners with expensive repair bills. 

What Do Catalytic Converters Do?

Catalytic converters are an essential component of a car's exhaust system. They reduce the release of harmful emissions into the environment. They convert carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons into less harmful gases, such as:

  1. Carbon dioxide
  2. Nitrogen
  3. Water vapor

Catalytic converters work by using a catalyst, such as platinum or palladium, to trigger a chemical reaction. This converts harmful gases into less harmful ones. The catalyst is often coated onto a ceramic or metallic substrate.

This provides a large surface area for the reaction to take place. By reducing harmful emissions, catalytic converters help to protect the environment.  It also helps to improve air quality.

Types of Catalytic Converters

There are many different types of catalytic converters. Ceramic and metal catalytic converters are two of the types that thieves steal most.

Let's look at their unique features and benefits. We will cover diesel oxidation catalysts and selective catalytic reduction systems. They are also targeted by thieves for their valuable metals. 

Ceramic Catalytic Converters 

Ceramic catalytic converters are one of the most common types of catalytic converters that are most often stolen. They are made of a ceramic material coated with a precious metal catalyst, such as platinum. Thieves target these converters because they contain a high amount of precious metals, making them valuable for scrap. 

There are two types of ceramic catalytic converters: two-way and three-way. Two-way catalytic converters reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions.

Three-way catalytic converters also reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. These converters play an important role in reducing harmful emissions from cars and are required by law in many areas. 

While ceramic catalytic converters are valuable for their precious metals, they also have a positive impact on the environment. Reducing harmful emissions helps to improve air quality. 

Metal Catalytic Converters 

Metal catalytic converters are another type of converter. Unlike ceramic converters, metal converters are made of stainless steel housing. They contain a monolithic or honeycomb structure coated with a precious metal catalyst, such as platinum or palladium.

The metal housing of these converters is what makes them attractive to thieves. It contains a large amount of valuable metal.

Monolithic converters consist of a single ceramic block. Honeycomb converters have a honeycomb structure that provides a larger surface area for the catalyst. Both types of converters are effective in reducing harmful emissions.

Metal catalytic converters also benefit the environment. By reducing emissions, they help to improve air quality and protect the environment from the negative impact of cars. 

Diesel Oxidation Catalysts 

Diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) are a type of catalytic converter that is used in diesel engines. They reduce the number of harmful emissions released into the environment. DOCs are made of a ceramic or metallic substrate that has a coating of a precious metal catalyst, such as platinum or palladium. 

Thieves target diesel oxidation catalysts for their valuable metals, which can be sold for a high price. DOCs are very attractive to thieves because they contain a high amount of platinum. This is more valuable than other precious metals used in catalytic converters.

Despite their value, the theft of DOCs can have severe consequences on the environment. It can lead to increased emissions from diesel engines. 

Selective Catalytic Reduction Systems 

These are another type of catalytic converter used in diesel engines. They reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, which are a major contributor to air pollution.

SCR systems work by injecting a urea solution into the exhaust stream. This reacts with the nitrogen oxides to convert them into harmless nitrogen and water. 

SCR systems are valuable for their ability to reduce harmful emissions. They also contain precious metals, such as platinum and palladium.

Thieves target these systems for their valuable metals, which can be sold for a high price. The theft of SCR systems can damage the environment. It can lead to increased nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines.

How to Secure Your Catalytic Converters

It's important to protect your catalytic converters from theft. There are several ways to do this. Here are some suggestions:

Park in a well-lit area. Thieves are less likely to target a vehicle that is parked in a well-lit area.

Install a catalytic converter lock. This is a device that clamps onto the converter and makes it difficult to remove.

Engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) onto your converter can help deter thieves. It also makes it easier to identify if it is stolen.

Hiring 3DK9 detection dogs to patrol and protect your property is a highly effective solution to prevent theft and detect suspicious activity before it occurs.

By taking these proactive measures, you can help secure your catalytic converter and protect your vehicle from theft.

Protect Your Catalytic Converters Today

There are many different types of catalytic converters. They are valuable parts that thieves are targeting more and more. This is causing expensive repairs and inconvenience for vehicle owners.

But there are ways to prevent theft and protect your property. You can do this by securing your converter and investing in K9 detection technology. So, if you want to safeguard your catalytic converter and property, take action now and use 3DK9 detection dogs for protection.

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