Catalytic converter

Catalytic converter theft Why it’s on the rise and are you at risk?

catalytic converter
Car catalytic converters can be stolen for the precious metals they contain (Picture iStock/BanksPhoto)

The Catalytic converter or ‘cat’ is a standard part of every modern car’s exhaust system. It helps to reduce harmful pollutants in the engine’s fumes. But thefts of catalytic converters are increasing dramatically.

In 2019, reported thefts of cats rose to 13,000 throughout England and Wales – up six times on the previous year. It’s not cheap to put right either. Replacement catalytic converters cost anywhere between £500 and £2500, depending on the car. Read on to find out if you could be at risk.

What is a catalytic converter?

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Catalytic converter and premium car thefts help fuel spike in car crime

catalytic converter
If you know what you’re doing it’s easy to steal CATs from exhausts for their valuable metals (Picture iStock/BanksPhotos)

Drivers shouldn’t just be worried about having their car stolen. They’re actually more likely to have something pinched from their car. And that could include the catalytic converter.

Figures from London’s Metropolitan Police reveal that in the first six months of 2019, thefts of this component, which makes up a part of the exhaust system, were nearly double the same period in 2018. We investigate the problem and give tips on how you can avoid being a victim of car (and CAT) crime.

Why are catalytic converters stolen?

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Car exhaust cleaning: are DIY products for DPFs worth it?

Car exhaust system cleaning: is it worth using DIY products for catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters?

Within your car’s exhaust system there are two areas that are hot spots for trouble and often need cleaning – the catalytic converter and the diesel particulate filter. Both of these cause problems for the efficient running of your car and can lead to it failing its MOT. In fact, Britain has a monthly peak of 43,000 cars failing the annual roadworthy test because of unacceptably dirty emissions from the exhaust.

Given the high cost of replacement parts, it’s no surprise that many drivers are embracing DIY cleaning products. These claim to return to good health congested catalytic converters or diesel particulate filters. We look at the options for drivers and ask whether they are worth using.

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