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Catalytic Converters: Replacement Costs, Parts Delays & Ongoing Theft

If you own a vehicle, you've likely heard of catalytic converters. But what exactly are they, and why are they important?  

In this blog, we'll explore the role of catalytic converters, the potential costs and delays associated with replacing and repairing them, and what you can do to protect your vehicle parts from theft.  

What Is A Catalytic Converter?  

A catalytic converter is a type of exhaust emission control device designed to reduce the impacts of harmful gases, including carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. It works by converting these gases into less toxic substances, such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, and nitrogen gas. 

What Does A Catalytic Converter Do?  

A catalytic converter helps reduce the overall environmental impact of a vehicle by minimizing the amount of harmful gas emitted from the exhaust system. This is important for air quality and public health, as these gases can contribute to pollution and other environmental problems. 

Can You Drive Without A Catalytic Converter?  

Technically, you can drive without a catalytic converter, but it is not recommended. Removing the catalytic converter from your vehicle's exhaust system can cause the vehicle to emit higher levels of harmful gases, and it may even be illegal. In addition, driving without a catalytic converter can cause your vehicle to fail emissions tests and potentially result in fines. 

If your catalytic converter is damaged or malfunctioning, it may be necessary to replace or repair it in order to restore proper emission control and prevent damage to your vehicle. Some signs that you may need to replace or repair your catalytic converter include: 

  • Reduced engine performance 
  • Increased fuel consumption 
  • Loud noises coming from the exhaust system 
  • Check engine light illuminated 

Should I Replace A Catalytic Converter Or Repair It?  

Whether you should replace or repair your catalytic converter will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. Some factors to consider include the following: 

  • The extent of the damage to the catalytic converter 
  • The cost of repairing versus replacing the catalytic converter 
  • The age and condition of the catalytic converter 
  • The overall condition of the vehicle 

If the catalytic converter is relatively new and the damage is minimal, it may be more cost-effective to repair it. However, if the catalytic converter is old or heavily damaged, replacing it may be your only option.  

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Catalytic Converter?  

Catalytic converter replacement costs can vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the make and model of your vehicle, the type of catalytic converter required, and the labour costs involved. On average, the cost of replacing a catalytic converter can range from $900 to $3,000 or more. 

Looking for additional information on catalytic converters? Contact us today, and one of our experts would be happy to help!

Why Are There Delays For Catalytic Converter Replacement Parts? 

Currently, there are numerous factors impacting the availability of catalytic converters. Namely, these delays are being caused by: 

  • A shortage of catalytic converters due to a rise in theft and limited production capacity 
  • Supply chain bottlenecks caused by global shipping delays and pandemic-related disruptions 
  • Specific parts needed not commonly stocked by parts suppliers 
  • The vehicle make and model requires a specialized part that may take longer to obtain 

Can You Clean A Catalytic Converter?  

It is generally not recommended to clean a catalytic converter, as it can be difficult to thoroughly clean the internal components without damaging them. In addition, attempting to clean a catalytic converter can potentially release hazardous substances into the environment and be dangerous to your health.  

If you suspect that your catalytic converter is clogged or damaged, it is best to have it professionally inspected and replaced if necessary. 

Why Are Catalytic Converters Stolen? 

Catalytic converters are sometimes stolen because they contain precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which can be sold for a hefty profit. In addition, catalytic converters can be relatively easy to remove and are often in a convenient location on a vehicle, making them a favoured target for thieves. 

If your catalytic converter is stolen, it is important to report the theft to the police as soon as possible. You should also notify your insurance company, as your insurance policy may cover the cost of replacing the catalytic converter.  

What Cars Are Most Likely To Have Their Catalytic Converter Stolen?  

Certain types of vehicles are more likely to have their catalytic converters stolen due to their design or the value of the materials contained within the converter. According to Canadian insurance data, some of these commonly targeted vehicles include the following: 

  • Toyota Prius 
  • Toyota Camry 
  • Toyota Highlander 
  • Honda Accord 
  • Honda Civic 
  • Honda CR-V 
  • Hyundai Tucson 
  • Hyundai Santa Fe 
  • KIA Sportage 
  • Ford E450 
  • Ford F150 
  • Ford E350 Van 

How Can You Protect Your Catalytic Converter?  

There are several steps you can take to protect your catalytic converter from theft: 

  • Park in a secure, well-lit area 
  • Use a sensitive alarm  
  • Have your catalytic converter etched with a unique identification number 
  • Consider installing a GPS-tracking device  

If you're ready to take the extra steps to protect your most valuable vehicle parts, then you'll want to speak with the team at Wright Restyling. We're happy to provide catalytic converter anti-theft devices as well as additional custom car accessories. Contact us today to request a quote