Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and AAA Carolinas to provide a free catalytic converter anti-theft etching.
This event takes place on Saturday, February 25th, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at AAA – Pineville, 10403 Park Road, Charlotte, NC.
You need to reserve a time slot in order to get your catalytic converter etched. One car per household. Spots are limited.
Why do thieves steal catalytic converters?
Catalytic converter theft has skyrocketed in recent years.
Catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, rhodium and palladium. Thieves often sell stolen catalytic converters to junkyards, scrap yards and waste recycling plants.
What cars are targeted for catalytic converter theft?
According to carfax.com, these are the cars most likely to have their catalytic converters stolen, nationwide:
- 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
- 1989-2020 Honda Accord
- 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
- 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
- 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
- 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
- 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
- 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
- 2011-17 Chrysler 200
- 2001-21 Toyota Prius
But if your car is not on the list, that doesn’t mean your car won’t be a target. Any car could be targeted. Hybrids are especially vulnerable because their catalytic converters contain more precious metals.
How will you know if your car’s catalytic converter has been stolen?
The catalytic converter goes between the engine and muffler. If it’s removed, the car will run very loudly. In addition, the “check engine” light should illuminate, the exhaust will be dark or smelly, and acceleration will be sluggish. You might also see damage under the car. Your car will definitely fail an emissions test.
It may cost between $1,000 and $3,000 to get your car fixed. Your car insurance might cover the cost, but, depending on the deductible, it might not help.
How can you prevent catalytic converter theft?
Park the car somewhere safe
The best solution is to park your car somewhere thieves can’t get to. So if you have a garage, park it there. If not, make sure it’s somewhere well-lit. If you park it in your driveway, consider installing motion sensor security lights, which might scare a thief off.
Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device
Install a catalytic converter anti-theft device. There are a range of devices, including alarms, clamps, and straps, and shields. In some cases these devices can slow the theft down enough to deter a thief.
Catalytic converter etching
Attend a catalytic converter etching event. At the event your car’s VIN number or license plate number will be etched on the converter. It should also be sprayed with highly visible high-heat paint. The etching can alert a reputable scrap dealer that the device is stolen, and can help identify the owner.
If a thief sees the high-heat paint, that could possibly be a deterrent, since it will be clear that the catalytic converter can be traced back to your car.
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