The catalytic converter in the exhaust system of a car is crucial. Through this important automotive piece, toxic combustion gases are converted into less dangerous elements like water vapor and carbon dioxide, thereby decreasing the amount of pollutants your car releases into the air. Recently, thieves have also found a way to inconspicuously steal catalytic converters from unsuspecting everyday individuals. Here’s why you might want to install a catalytic converter shield in San Jose, CA.
The Problem of Catalytic Converter Theft
Catalytic converters have attracted significant attention among vandals due to their considerable value and relatively straightforward removal process. Moreover, the absence of verifiable identification for these parts poses significant challenges in accurately apprehending and prosecuting criminals.
Metal recyclers are often the destination for stolen catalytic converters, where vandals seek to profit from their illicit activities. According to the San Jose Police Department, up to $250 per converter will be offered by recyclers in exchange for the valuable metals they contain. In contrast, victims will often have to pay $1000 to replace it.
The Police Department cites that the most common areas where catalytic converter theft occurs are parking lots, driveways, streets, and auto dealer lots. Furthermore, the following vehicles are often the most targeted:
- Any vehicle manufactured after 1974
- Trucks and SUVs
- Light vehicles
How Can Vandals Steal My Catalytic Converter?
Regrettably, vehicle owners often find themselves vulnerable to how easily catalytic converters can be stolen. In many unfortunate cases, vandals have been known to skillfully slide underneath a vehicle and use a battery-powered reciprocating saw. This tool allows them to efficiently cut off the catalytic converter from the exhaust line, and the whole process only takes approximately three minutes or even less. With this in mind, vandals may easily go through 20 vehicles in as short as 1 hour.
Can I Drive Without a Catalytic Converter?
Your engine or vehicle will likely still function if you temporarily drive without a catalytic converter. However, in the long term, doing so may cause dangerous emissions, reduce your vehicle’s efficiency, and even land you in legal trouble with the state.
How Do I Know If My Catalytic Converter Was Stolen?
Some key signs that your vehicle’s catalytic converter has been removed include the following:
- The automobile starts with a roaring noise.
- The noise of the car increases when driven faster.
- There has been an increase in the amount of exhaust fumes.
- Strange odors are coming from the exhaust.
What Is a Catalytic Converter Shield?
A catalytic converter shield may be installed as a precautionary measure to safeguard your converter. When installed, a catalytic converter shield acts as a physical barrier between the converter and potential thieves.
Drilling or cutting through a catalytic converter shield is unlikely to be successful, although it is possible. However, even with the correct instrument, such as an angle grinder, it will make a lot of noise and take a very long time to cut through—increasing the risk for the thief to get caught.
A catalytic converter shield can be installed on your vehicle in as little as 30 minutes for a tiny fraction of the price of replacing a stolen catalytic converter, which can cost several thousand dollars and cause significant financial hardship.
Where Can I Install a Catalytic Converter Shield in San Jose, CA?
If you are looking for a convenient and affordable way to safeguard your vehicle against catalytic converter theft in San Jose, CA, come visit GIC Car Clinic for your catalytic converter shield installation.
Contact us at (408) 279-5510, and let us help you get back on the road with confidence today.