It might seem odd that catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, but they are. Stealing catalytic converters remains a common form of auto theft that may or may not be covered by your auto insurance policy. Why do people go to the effort to crawl under parked vehicles and saw out catalytic converters? Because they are made of platinum and other precious metals.
A Loud Engine
You will know right away if someone has gone to the effort to steal your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s catalytic converter. When you press the start button or turn the ignition key, you will be surprised at how loud the engine is. In all actuality, the noise that you hear is the exhaust being shoved out of the exhaust manifold. The catalytic converter muffles this noise during the exhaust release process.
A CEL Warning
You will also see that there is an illuminated check engine light on your vehicle’s dashboard that will not turn off. Also called the CEL, this light covers problems that do not have their own warnings. So, in the case of the catalytic converter theft, the exhaust system will malfunction. The engine control unit will turn on the CEL because you do not have an exhaust system warning light on the dashboard.
We recommend that you cut the engine and call the authorities if you have the problems discussed above. You can also crawl under your automobile and confirm that the catalytic converter has been stolen. You will see the saw damage and a missing auto part behind the exhaust manifold. If you drive your vehicle, the automobile will jerk violently when you try to accelerate and increase speed.
Problems Driving Slowly
You will also experience problems driving slowly when the catalytic converter is gone. The vehicle’s engine will sputter and lag. For some reason, the engine struggles to produce low-end torque when there is no catalytic converter in the exhaust system. This affects your ability to drive slowly.
Strong Exhaust Odors
Finally, the primary reason why we recommend that you avoid driving your automobile is that the exhaust, which has not been treated by the catalytic converter, can make its way into the passenger cabin easily when it is released by the exhaust manifold. Unfortunately, this opens you up to the danger of inhaling the exhaust and getting sick while you drive. Call for a tow truck to our shop instead.
Call us after you have reported the theft to the authorities and your insurance company. We can repair the exhaust system damage and replace the catalytic converter.