Catalytic converter theft and how to prevent it

Your catalytic converter, the part in your exhaust system which turns toxic emissions into less harmful substances, contains this precious metal palladium. With the rising prices for valuable metals like this one, the numbers for catalytic converter theft are also currently rising. Here are some tips on how to prevent and slow down thieves dismantling your car:

Prevent catalytic converter theft by:

  • Parking closer to walls, other vehicles or close to the kerb, to make climbing under your car more difficult.
  • Marking the catalytic converter with an engraved serial number can allow easier tracing as well making it harder to sell.
  • Welding the bolts if the converter is bolted on. This does not stop thieves but makes it harder to remove the converter using only a spanner. The downside to consider is that it not only makes it harder for thieves but also mechanics when they are working on your exhaust system.
  • Get a protective cover fitted to make it more difficult for thieves to remove the converter.
  • Get a catalytic converter alarm that is set off when the catalytic converter is tempered with.
  • Increased security measures, e.g. if possible park in a lockable garage, fencing, park in well-lit areas or CCTV.

What to do if the catalytic converter has been stolen?

In the case when your catalytic converter has been stolen, additional damage might have been caused to the exhaust system. As the converter is removed by force, the act of removal can have damaged surrounding parts as well. This means that you will need to have a mechanic take a thorough look at the exhaust system to determine the extent if other parts of the system have to be replaced as well.

In these cases, our in-house mechanics can help advise you to get your vehicle fixed.

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Happy driving!

What Is An Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve?

The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is designed to reduce harmful nitrogen oxides in the emissions. Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) is an irritant that can cause lung damage if people are exposed to it for long periods of time. The EGR valve recycles some of the exhaust gases back into the engine. The gases reduce the temperature in the engine, so less harmful gases are produced. Most cars require the EGR system to meet emission standards, although some engines are now designed not to need them at all.

What happens when the EGR valve fails?

With exhaust gasses constantly flowing through it, you can imagine the EGR valve isn’t too pretty. Eventually, it sticks and clogs with all of the soot from the exhaust leaving the valve open or closed. A check engine light should be illuminated for either case.

An EGR valve that is open continuously will have a constant flow of gases into the engine, meaning the car will idle rough and stall. You will also notice the MPG come down and more fuel in the emissions, which you can smell. The lower temperatures will also fail your emissions test in an MOT.

A constantly closed EGR valve may cause the fuel to ignite early, as the temperature is higher. This means you’ll hear pinging at low RPM, then loud bangs as you rev your engine. The bangs will leave you with some extensive engine repairs that are very costly so don’t ignore them. It will also fail your MOT, with the high NOx emissions.