Most people know that their vehicle has a Catalytic Converter but don’t worry about it. A recent and distrurbing trend forces attention on protecting against damage or theft of this device. Theft impacts vehicle maintenance, while increasing auto repair costs. A surge in thefts, especially since the start of the pandemic, is cause for concern, especially for owners of newer vehicles. Across the nation, more than 14,400 Catalytic Converters were stolen around the country in 2020, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
This problem is growing here in Colorado as well. Denver police report that from January to May 2020 they had 23 such thefts. For the same period in 2021, they report 980 thefts. There are several ways for local vehicle owners to help prevent this from happening to them.
Impact On All Types of Vehicles
As an anti-pollution device, vehicles of all shapes and sizes have environmental requirements. The cost of a replacement Catalytic Converter is generally now in the $1,000 to $2,000 price range. This does not include any other auto repairs or labor charges from the mechanic. Not long ago, the typical cost was around $350, prior to the recent environmental considerations. Thieves that sell them in quantity generate thousands of dollars. In addition, many are made with precious metals which could also fetch hundreds of dollars. Larger vehicles, including most trucks, often contain multiple converters.
Solving The Problem In Ft. Collins
This type of theft can happen here in Fort Collins. Even though most auto insurance covers theft loss, it may not cover an auto repair. The vehicle owner may face a large deductible. Because of the need for replacements, even the best mechanic can face a delay in getting a new one.
Reducing The Need For Auto Repairs
One strategy to protect your vehicle’s Catalytic Converter is to etch the VIN number on to the Converter. This would prevent a licensed mechanic from installing it elsewhere. Another method is to apply bright colored paint , making it far less attractive to thieves. Some models of cars allow for covers to protect the Converter. These cost in the range of $200. A mechanic can install it, most likely with an added labor cost. A car alarm system should respond to activity underneath the car, especially for vehicles sitting high off the ground.
Additional Steps Fort Collins Residents Can Take
This rise in theft is a reminder to be aware of where your vehicle is at all times. These thefts tend to happen when a vehicle is outside and unattended. Examples are grocery store, medical center, and office building parking lots.
Checking the Catalytic Converter is a part of the vehicle maintenance a licensed mechanic performs. You want to keep your auto repair costs down as much as possible even when you are not a theft victim. Precautions such as covering or painting over your Catalytic Converter could save you hundreds of dollars. Having a top notch alarm system and parking safely also help.
Let our expert mechanic perform vehicle maintenance at your convenience. Schedule your appointment today.