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Are anti-theft devices for catalytic converters worth it?

Any car that runs (even partially) on gasoline or diesel fuel has a device called a catalytic converter. A catalytic converter contains precious metals that can bring in anywhere from $50 to several hundred dollars when scrapped, making them prime items for theft. Since repair may cost a few thousand dollars, it’s worth it to make your catalytic converter less appealing to criminals with an anti-theft device.

Is a catalytic converter important?

The purpose of a catalytic converter is to convert certain pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, into less harmful gases so they won’t be as bad for the environment. If your catalytic converter is removed, your vehicle will still run. However, it will be very loud and it won’t pass emissions. Depending on your vehicle, it may cost $1,000 or more to replace the catalytic converter.

Which vehicles are the most prone to theft?

Catalytic converter theft is a crime of convenience. Criminals want to get under your car and remove the catalytic converter with a power tool in just a few minutes to reduce the chance of getting caught. This means high-clearance vehicles such as trucks, SUVs and vans are prime targets. Additionally, hybrids are targets because the catalytic converters are less worn.

How to make your vehicle less appealing to criminals

Anything you can do to make your vehicle less accessible will help. The best protection is to lock your car or truck in a garage. If you don’t have a garage, park in a well-lit area or install motion sensor lights. Also, a shield affixed over the catalytic converter or a vibration-sensing alarm may be all it takes to deter potential thieves.

Anti-theft devices for catalytic converters

Best WSDCAM Catalytic Converter Alarm

WSDCAM Catalytic Converter Alarm

There are seven layers of sensitivity with three volume levels on this anti-theft alarm. It attaches to the exhaust system with stainless steel straps and heat guard tapes that can withstand up to 3,000 degrees. 

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Best Racewill Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Device

Racewill Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Device

This waterproof alarm system has an adjustable volume that blasts up to 113 dB. It features seven layers of sensitivity, has a heat-guard pad and comes with cables for added security. The alarm will sound for 30 seconds after it has been triggered. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Cat Security Catalytic Converter Protection Shield

Cat Security Catalytic Converter Protection Shield

If you prefer a shield, this corrosion-resistant aluminum model has security hardware that prevents rapid removal. It has heat extraction holes for proper ventilation and fits the Toyota Prius (2010 to 2015). 

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Best Millercat Anti-Theft Catalytic Converter Protection

Millercat Anti-Theft Catalytic Converter Protection

This shield fits a Toyota 4Runner without X-REAS suspension (2014 to 2022). It’s made of lightweight aluminum, has a three-piece design and is tamper-proof. The louver vents help keep the engine cool. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Blink Wireless Outdoor One-Camera System Plus Floodlight

Blink Wireless Outdoor One-Camera System Plus Floodlight

If you prefer a slightly different type of protection, this Blink security system comes with a camera and one floodlight. You can see, hear and speak in real time to help scare away would-be thieves. The 700-lumens LED is triggered by motion to help keep your vehicle safe in the driveway at night. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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