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What is a Catalytic Converter and Why is Theft on the Rise in Edmonton?

More and more drivers in Edmonton are falling victim to catalytic converter theft.

Catalytic converters are easy to remove and are high in value, making them perfect targets for thieves.

The last thing anyone wants is to worry about replacing their catalytic converter!

Park Muffler is here to help you understand what your catalytic converter is, why people steal it, and how you can protect your vehicle from catalytic converter theft in Edmonton.

What is a Catalytic Converter?

The catalytic converter is a part of your vehicle’s exhaust system that resembles a small metal chamber. It takes exhaust gasses and reduces emissions from the exhaust manifold.

This component of the exhaust system houses a ceramic-based structure shaped like a honeycomb and lined with precious metals (such as platinum and rhodium) to reduce emissions.

There are 3 main emissions produced by your vehicle’s engine: carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen gas (N2), and water vapor.

The catalytic converter eliminates carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides.

Issues with catalytic converters will often cause strange sounds and smells as well as reduced performance.

Some signs of catalytic converter issues include:

  • increased emissions
  • rattling noises
  • the activation of your check engine light

When a catalytic converter stops working, it will likely need to be replaced. However, if the component is clogged, it can be repaired.

Why Do People Steal Catalytic Converters?

Cut exhaust pipe from stolen catalytic converter

Catalytic converters contain precious metals worth quite a bit on the black market.

Catalytic converter thefts aren’t a new occurrence, but the rate of theft is rising due to the increase in the value of these precious metals.

The precious metals used in a catalytic converter, including palladium, platinum, and rhodium, are valued more than gold.

Depending on the condition, size, and value of the materials inside a catalytic converter, thieves can sell them for anywhere between $150-$200 – but they can cost up to $2,000 to replace!

Catalytic Converter Thefts in Edmonton

This type of theft is happening all over Canada. In Ottawa, Canada Post vehicles have been targeted, and in Winnipeg, thieves are stealing catalytic converters off school buses.

In 2021, there were almost 2,700 reports of catalytic converter theft in Edmonton – 55% of the total thefts that occurred in Alberta. In 2022, catalysis converter thefts costs Edmonotnians nearly $20 million. 

How to Tell If You Have Been a Victim of Calatyic Converter Theft

Knowing if your catalytic converter has been stolen is not obvious when you look at your vehicle, but you’ll know something is wrong as soon as you turn the car on.

Once a catalytic converter has been removed, your engine will give off a loud roaring sound that gets louder as you accelerate.

You can also take a look under your vehicle. If there is a large hole in your exhaust or your pipes look like they have been cut, you have likely had your catalytic converter stolen.

man checking a car from underneath

Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Here are some steps you can take to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • Paint Your Catalytic Converter: Painting your catalytic converter will make it easier for the police to trace it if it does get stolen.
  • Engrave Your VIN Number: You can also engrave your vehicle’s VIN number into the catalytic converter for easier tracing.
  • Park in Well-Lit Areas or Private Garages: Parking in a well-lit area or inside your garage will deter thieves from stealing your catalytic converter.
  • Park Close to Entrances: If you are parking in an unfamiliar place, park close to a building’s entrance to keep your car visible in high-traffic areas.

You can also install an anti-theft device to make your catalytic converter more difficult to steal.

Galvanized Steel Cages for Catalytic Converter Protection

The best anti-theft device to protect your catalytic converter is a galvanized steel cage with cold-rolled round bars that are securely bolted to your vehicle.

This form of catalytic converter protection is custom-made for your vehicle!

Park Muffler installs galvanized steel cages to prevent catalytic converter theft in Edmonton.

We also offer warranties on any required adjustments to ensure it is properly attached and does not rattle when you drive.

Catalytic Converter Theft in Edmonton – Don’t Be a Statistic!

Park Muffler is dedicated to the optimal performance and safety of your vehicle.

Talk to us today about how we can protect your catalytic converter, so you don’t become another statistic!

We can take a look at your vehicle to provide you with a free quote for a catalytic converter protection installation.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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