Catalytic Converter Theft: An important point to note is that, what is stolen from the exhaust pipe is the Catalytic Converter and not the muffler. The muffler is a different part of the exhaust.
So what is a catalytic converter?
Well, it is an emission control appliance that makes exhaust gases from the engine less harmful through a reduction process.
Where is it located?
It is located inside the exhaust, between the engine’s exhaust manifold and the muffler.
Why is it worth so much money?
Catalytic converters are made up of some very valuable and rare metals: Rhodium, platinum and palladium. These metals are mostly used for jewelry, in the manufacture of electronics and some industrial purposes. This makes it a trophy for garage thieves.
What do you do if it is stolen or clogs up and has to be removed?
At some point in a car’s lifetime, catalytic converters clog and mechanics advise that you have them removed. Other times they are stolen, other times you may be advised to remove them for better performance.. So what are the consequences?
What are the benefits of having the catalytic converter removed?
1. You get a significant increase in power from your car’s engine.
Some of the cars that have catalytic converters tend to experience a significant increase of horsepower. This is made possible because the catalytic converter creates a considerable source of back-pressure on the engine and without it, gases enter and leave the engine faster.
2. Removing the catalytic converter reduces the engine’s operating temperature.
Without the catalytic converter in the exhaust system, the exhaust gases enter and leave the engine faster without any restrictions. This reduces the load on the engine and thus reducing the engine’s operating temperature.
What are the consequences of removing the catalytic converter?
1. You may have the check engine light come on. Removing the catalytic converter may trigger a fault code. Some vehicles especially Nissan and Honda can really misbehave when the catalytic converter is removed.
2. You will pollute the environment even more.
If your catalytic converter is stolen, and the check engine light persists, you can put it off by installing an “Emulator” or more technically; a Lambda sensor to “trick” the engine’s computer or control unit.
The other way is to do a “De-Cat” which involves removing the Catalytic Converter code on the engine’s computer.