Catalytic converters are important environmental components found in every car sold today. They contain very rare, valuable metals such as platinum and rhodium. These metals consistently fetch very high prices on the recycling market because they are not only rare, but also heavily in demand—especially from the auto industry.
This means that stripping and scrapping an old car you legally own can be more lucrative than selling it as a complete vehicle. It also means that the auto industry can continue to acquire these rare metals at more affordable rates, and therefore continue to turn a profit without drastically raising car prices.
However, it also means that thousands of people in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the rest of the country (and the world) have their catalytic converters stolen almost every single day. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from this type of theft, and for selling a catalytic converter you legally own.
Protecting Yourself from Catalytic Converter Theft in Dallas and Fort Worth
There are several simple modifications you can make to your car to prevent catalytic converter theft. Let’s look at a few of them in detail.
Putting Identifying Marks on Your Catalytic Converter
- This is the easiest method of protecting yourself from theft, but it also isn’t the strongest deterrent.
- You can scratch identifying marks into the exterior of the catalytic converter with any sharp-edged tool.
- Common identifying marks include a VIN number or license plate number.
- This may deter a thief from even attempting to steal your catalytic converter, because they will know they’ll have a harder time selling it.
Making Catalytic Converter Theft Harder with Mechanical Modifications
- While these methods are a bit more difficult, they are also highly effective (especially if you combine them with the identifying marks above.
- One way to make catalytic converter theft more difficult is to weld the bolts attaching the catalytic converter to the rest of the car. If you don’t have welding experience or equipment, you can also shear off the bolt heads with a pair of bolt cutters.
- In addition, there are antitheft devices for catalytic converters available for purchase. These are usually strong steel cages that are fastened around the converter.
Everyday Theft Prevention
- Parking your car in a garage or in well-lit, very public areas will help deter thieves from stealing your catalytic converter.
- This should also decrease the likelihood that your entire car or items inside your car will be stolen.
Selling a Catalytic Converter the Right Way
Because of this spate of catalytic converter thefts, there is a law regulating the sale of catalytic converters on the books here in Texas. If you have a catalytic converter you may want to sell legally, you should prepare yourself.
The best way to sell your catalytic converter to a scrap yard is in or alongside the rest of your car. If you have a catalytic converter to sell on its own, you’ll need to provide documentation proving that you legally own it.
If you ever have your catalytic converter replaced or repaired, you can ask your mechanic for documentation that will allow you to sell it legally in the future. If you purchase a catalytic converter yourself, be sure to keep the proof of purchase and any other documentation.
Because Encore Recyclers is dedicated to being a responsible corporate citizen, we will follow regulations on catalytic converters and other commonly stolen metal parts to the letter. Stealing a catalytic converter simply isn’t worth it.