Which cars are least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen

Catalytic converters are expensive vehicle parts because they are made of precious metals. In fact, catalytic converters are one of the most costly components in a car after the engine and transmission. Hence, they are often targeted by thieves.

Car owners are therefore advised to secure their cars. Even car manufacturers are making the process of removing cats more difficult in a bid to limit cat theft. But even at that, cat thieves are not relenting. While all cats are at risk of theft, some are least likely to be stolen. So which cars are least likely to have catalytic converters stolen?

are toyota corollas targeted for catalytic converter theft

Which cars are least likely to have their catalytic converter stolen?

If your car has a catalytic converter, it is most likely targeted by thieves. This is true because most cats contain expensive metals, which can fetch thieves an awesome sum when sold. However, while most cats are at risk of theft, it’s harder to steal cats in some cars.

So which cars are least likely to have catalytic converters stolen? Cars with the least likelihood of having their catalytic converter stolen include vehicles with low ground clearance, cars fitted with low-quality cats, cars with bead cat cons, etc.

Cars with low ground clearance

Cars with low ground clearance require lifting the car with a jack before accessing the cats. Most thieves don’t have such time to waste for fear of getting caught. Hence, they tend to stay away from such cars. While cats from these cars are least likely to get stolen, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of being stolen.

For example, Toyota Corolla and even Toyota Prius are good examples of cars with low ground clearance. Yet they are often targeted by thieves. So why are Toyota Corollas targeted for catalytic converter theft? The catalytic converters fitted into these cars contain huge amounts of precious metal.

If the thieves see the risk is worth taking, they may choose to take the risk in stealing the cat con. In fact, it takes an experienced team of thieves less than a minute to steal cats from such cars. One will quickly jack up the car with a car jack while another slide under to cut it off with a metal cutting tool.

Cars with low-quality catalytic converter

Robbers know that stealing has grave punishment as a consequence. So they want to ensure the risk they are taking is worth it. Hence, they tend to avoid low-quality catalytic converters as such cats won’t fetch them good money.

Examples of vehicles equipped with cheap cats are Ford, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, and Chevrolet. And fortunately, they also top the list of cars with the least most stolen catalytic converters in USA.

Cars whose cats house the little amount of the valuable metals

Usually, the higher the amount of precious metal inside your cat, the higher the chances of being targeted by thieves. As they will make a considerable sum selling it. If, however, your vehicle’s cat is built with fewer precious metals, thieves will likely stay away.

While this doesn’t rule out the fact that thieves can’t steal them, it lessens the likelihood of such cats being stolen.  Examples of cars made with fewer metals include Hyundai, Subaru, Nissan, and Mazda. Even cats in diesel engine vehicles use less of these precious metals.

Cars without catalytic converters

Cars manufactured before 1974 do not come with catalytic converters. Electric vehicles also do not come with catalytic converters because they don’t have an exhaust system since they don’t use fuel. People with these cars have zero worries regarding catalytic converter theft.

Cars with bead cat con

Instead of precious metals such as rhodium, palladium, and platinum, bead cats house beads inside them. While these beads are worth something, they are less valuable than cats with those expensive metals. Thieves avoid beaded cats because they won’t make much selling them.

Cars whose cats are inside the engine compartment

Cars like the 2015 Honda Accord and other jazz models have cats inside their engine compartments, making it difficult to access. Because the process of removing these cats is complicated, cat thieves tend to stay away from them.

why are honda catalytic converters stolen

Frequently Asked Questions—FAQs

What cars have the easiest converter to steal?

Cars with the easiest catalytic converter to steal include Honda Jazz, Honda CR-V, and Toyota Auris. These cats are easy to steal because they are at an easy-to-access location.

While it is true that most of these cars have lower ground clearance which could possibly deter thieves, their cats are pretty easy to access after raising the vehicle. This is coupled with the fact that cats in these vehicles use many precious metals.

Other lists of most stolen catalytic converters are those in cars like Accord, Tacoma Prius, and Lexus SUV. Between January and May 2021, about 26,000 catalytic converters were stolen from these models. In fact, they top the list of cars with the most stolen catalytic converters in California.

Are all cars at risk of catalytic converter theft?

Not all cars are at risk of catalytic converter theft. Cars like electric vehicles and those manufactured before 1974 do not come with catalytic converters and therefore are not at risk of catalytic theft.

However, all cars fitted with cats are at risk of catalytic converter theft. However, some are less riskier than others. For example, cats made with beads are less targeted by thieves because they hold little value, whereas cats with precious metals are often targeted.

It’s even riskier if the metals inside the cats are much. Generally, the higher the amount of metal used, the less toxic emissions. It is this metal inside the cat that reacts to help convert harmful gasses like carbon monoxide into less harmful exhaust fumes.

How do I make sure my catalytic converter doesn’t get stolen?

Here are possible ways to curb cat theft. Install an anti-theft device in your car. Thankfully, this also protects other car components since you will be alerted if someone touches the car.

Another way to protect your cat is to mark it with paint or inscribe your plate number onto it, especially if your cat does not have serial numbers. In situations the cat gets stolen, law enforcement can use that number or mark to identify your cat easily. If you’re out, park in a lighted area; most robberies are committed in dark places.

Thieves can even steal your cat in your garage, so ensure your garage is secured. Reporting suspicious activities is also another way of preventing cat theft. However, even if your car doesn’t have a cat, still protect it; other expensive car components can also be stolen.

What is the hardest car to steal a catalytic converter from?

It’s hard stealing from cars with low ground clearance and welded cats. To steal cats from these cars, a jack is needed to lift the vehicles to access the cats. If the cat is welded to the exhaust system, the process becomes more tedious as you would need metal cutting to detach the cat. An example of a car with lower ground clearance is the Toyota Prius.

Cars with cats in the engine compartment are also hard to steal since they are not easily accessible. Good examples are some Hondas and Toyotas. If not easily stolen, why are honda catalytic converters stolen? Thieves take risk stealing because cats in these cars have many precious metals.

However, it’s better not to allow thieves near your car. Even cars with low ground clearance can have their cats stolen in a minute by an experienced team of thieves. As said earlier, with one lifting the vehicle with a jack, another can quickly squeeze under and cut out the cat.

Does spray painting your catalytic converter prevent theft?

Spray painting is another way of preventing cat theft. Thieves would deter such cats because law enforcement or even scrap buyers will easily use that mark to spot a stolen cat. They also stay away from painted cats because it affects their resale value.

Technically, spray painting helps prevent cat theft from happening in the first place. In fact, police and other law enforcement agencies are sensitizing the public on the need for cat spray painting, especially for cats without serial numbers, as this would help them identify a stolen cat effortlessly.

But if spray painting helps spot stolen cats,  who buys stolen catalytic converters? It’s simple; only thieves buy stolen cats. One reason most people who buy stolen cats get away with it is that they don’t sell. Instead, they remove the precious metal inside. Can anyone identify their cat’s metal?

Does car insurance protect against catalytic converter theft?

It typically depends on your insurance type. But generally, car owners with comprehensive coverage on car insurance will usually have their cats insured against cat theft. These insurance companies won’t only replace the cat but also take care of any damage incurred while the cat is removed.

Should I call the police if my catalytic converter is stolen?

Always call the attention of the police if your cat is stolen. They can help you check cameras around to see if they can identify the cat thief. They can also alert scrap buyers to catch anyone found with a cat carrying your cat’s serial number or unique marks.

Final Words

So you are well aware of which cars are least likely to have catalytic converters stolen by now. They include vehicles with low ground clearance, those with little precious metals inside the cat, cars without cats, etc. While these cats are less likely to be stolen, you must still protect them.

What is inside a catalytic converter is expensive, and thieves will gladly take it when given the opportunity. However, even with being careful, anything can happen. Be sure to report to the concerned authorities immediately; they may help you recover it.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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