Signs I’m the Victim of Catalytic Converter Theft

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We hope that you never have to come to our auto repair shop because somebody stole your catalytic converter. Unfortunately, this is a common type of auto theft. The converter is made of palladium, platinum, and rhodium. These precious metals are the reason why people take catalytic converters from underneath automobiles. Here are signs your catalytic converter has been stolen.

A Very Loud Engine

Assume for the moment that you were grocery shopping and you’ve loaded your groceries in your automobile. You slide into the driver’s seat and fire up the engine. The engine is extremely loud, especially when you press down on the accelerator. You may think that this is a muffler problem, but it is more likely that someone has stolen your catalytic converter.

An Illuminated CEL

Aside from the loud engine, you will also see an illuminated check engine light on the dashboard. Unfortunately, this light also points to a stolen converter. Any time a system malfunctions, system sensors report the malfunctions to the main computer chip. In this case, your exhaust system is malfunctioning, and the chip will turn on the CEL.

Jerky/Lurching Acceleration

Let’s assume that you attempt to pull out of the parking space in which you were parked. Every time you press down on the accelerator, your vehicle jerks. In addition, as mentioned above, the engine roars. This, too, is a sign that the converter was taken. We recommend that you avoid driving your vehicle because the missing converter can create a dangerous situation with the exhaust.

Problems Driving Slowly

If you keep attempting to drive your vehicle, you will also notice that it is operating poorly while you are driving slowly. The engine has a hard time producing power to sustain smooth operation when the vehicle is going slow after the catalytic converter has been taken. It is best to park your vehicle and call for a tow truck to bring it to our auto repair shop.

Noticeable Exhaust Odors

The reason why is that, as we mentioned above, a missing converter can cause problems with the exhaust. Specifically, you may end up with untreated exhaust that is full of carbon monoxide in your passenger cabin. As you can imagine, inhaling the exhaust will make you sick.

It is best to have your vehicle towed to our shop so you don’t run the risk of getting ill while driving it. We will inspect your exhaust system to determine the extent of the damage and repair it.

Photo by deepblue4you from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro

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