VIDEO: Catalytic Converter Theft

VIDEO: Catalytic Converter Theft

Do not replace a missing converter with a “test pipe.” This video is sponsored by Auto Value & Bumper to Bumper.

You have probably seen the national and local headlines about catalytic converter thefts. But what happens after the converter has been cut from the vehicle? What must be done to get the victim back on the road?

Most catalytic converter thefts are covered under the customer’s comprehensive insurance policy. You might have to work with the insurance company to determine if they will cover replacement with an OE equivalent or aftermarket catalytic converter. Direct fit exhaust components are the best bet. But depending on how the converter was cut from the vehicle, you might have to repair a flange on the vehicle.

Some customers might not have comprehensive insurance, so the replacement might be on their dime. Don’t even try to source a used catalytic converter. The EPA made selling used catalytic converters illegal in 1990, unless tested and certified by the agency. They also enacted requirements that shops must follow if a catalytic converter is replaced to document the procedure.

Do not replace the missing converter with a “test pipe” or just a length of pipe. First of all, it will not keep the check engine light out, and it can cost you a $10,000 fine from the EPA.

No matter who is paying the bill, both the customer and installer must sign a statement explaining why the converter was replaced. Manufacturers either provide such a statement with the converter or have an example in their catalogs. You must retain copies of the invoices and statements for up to six months.

Protecting the converter on vehicles like a Toyota Prius, Ford F-250 or Honda Element has created a cottage industry. These devices are designed to prevent thieves from accessing the converter or make it difficult to cut the pipes. Some muffler shops that can still weld have been fabricating cages and shields to stop thieves or make it more challenging to steal the converter. Some police departments are also offering services where they will etch the VIN onto a converter’s shell. Another strategy has been to spray paint the catalytic converter with red or orange high-temperature paint that might make a thief reluctant to steal the converter.

This video was sponsored by Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper.

You May Also Like

Bridgestone Golf CEO Dan Murphy shares what links tires to teeing up Tiger Woods – PART I

In Part I of this interview, Dan discusses successfully bridging the worlds of tires and golf balls into one premium branding experience.

dan-murphy-1400

Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Freddie Couples are just a few of the names linked to the quality and precision behind Bridgestone Golf – but the man behind the scenes who helped create and catapult the Bridgestone Golf brand to PGA grounds is Dan Murphy, the company's current president and CEO.

Does your shop need a marketing firm?

Hiring a marketing firm won’t automatically bring in more business – it can lose you money if you don’t take proper steps.

TR-Continental-marketing
Michelin highlights sustainable milestones at Sonoma Raceway

We learn about sustainability strategies and new products, drive a Freightliner all-electric eCascadia Class 8 truck, and take a few hot laps around the track.

Michelin-Sustainability-Summit-1400
How to recommend LT tires to customers

The LT segment is complex, with different customer priorities and use cases to consider.

TR-Continental-LT-tires
Continental Tire’s lessons learned from over 120 years of retreading

John Cox, head of retread truck tires Americas, discusses retread market trends in 2024 and the importance of tire dealers advising their fleet customers on the benefits of retreading.

WT-YT-Continental-Retread-1400

Other Posts

How to avoid TPMS sensor signal transmission limitations

Focus on tool positioning, try not to block the signal, avoid RF clashing and double-check the make, model, year and frequency.

How AI is being used in your shop

AI has been around in the aftermarket for over 20 years, making life easier for techs and shop owners without ever threatening their jobs.

TR-Continental-AI
How do you define a tire tier?

Tire dealers provided various views on what attributes define a tire manufacturer’s tier.

RwtNMAR tire tiers
Tesla Model 3 TPMS service

Resetting and programming TPMS sensors for a Tesla is a lot like any other vehicle, and the challenge is still the same: keeping the light off.

bendpakEVgarageTPMS-1400