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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
4/30/21 10:33 a.m.

We were chatting at the office about this, and figured it wasn't fair to keep all the good ideas to ourselves.

The challenge: Prevent your catalytic converter from getting stolen. And make fun of me for buying a Honda Element, one of the most likely candidates for catalytic converter theft, in the process.

Here's what we've come up with so far:

  • Those funky catalytic converter cage things.
  • That weird universal "wrap it in a bunch of steel cable" device.
  • Cut it out ahead of time so at least you'll know who took it.
  • A note on the windshield mentioning the car parked next to yours has a bigger converter.

Any creative ideas we missed?

Saying this out loud will probably jinx me, but personally I'm not that worried about it. If it happens it happens, and I've got a welder and insurance if it comes to that. But I've met some people who are quite paranoid.

Opti
Opti Dork
4/30/21 10:43 a.m.

Live in a town that is well known to have a heavily armed population, has been working well for me so far.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/30/21 10:45 a.m.

Prius are also known for having a desirable (high scrap value) cat.  I own 4 Prius so this is on my mind but I have done nothing.  

This is the popular prevention for Prius.  $160 for Prius   $279 for Element

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
4/30/21 10:46 a.m.

Mash the gas when you hear a sawzall turn on at a red light

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard Marketing Coordinator
4/30/21 10:49 a.m.

Heard on NPR this morning: Apparently installing a rebar cage is a pretty effective deterrent?

And lol, of course this story references a Honda Element specifically.

thashane
thashane New Reader
4/30/21 10:51 a.m.

Saddly, I feel with the invent of battery powered porta-bands (and cheap meth), nothing is safe anymore. However, I do love my portaband, so I am torn. I read an article explaining that the $/lb of components used in converters is greater than gold. I've day-dreamed about welding rebar to the outside.

Here are my suggestions:

 Air suspension and drop it to the ground.

Park inside.

Common security tips, such as motion activated lights.

Live/sleep/work in vehicle.

Edit: whatever I do, I always try to make sure I'm not the easier target. I recently went down a rabbit hole trying to secure my trailers, and while they're not unstealable, there's definitely easier trailers to steal.

 

thashane
thashane New Reader
4/30/21 10:53 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Prius are also known for having a desirable (high scrap value) cat.  I own 4 Prius so this is on my mind but I have done nothing.  

This is the popular prevention for Prius.  $160 for Prius   $279 for Element

I bet that's good for another 2mpg!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/30/21 10:54 a.m.

Rebar style and others

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
4/30/21 10:59 a.m.

Purchase a livestock fence charger (they make solar-powered ones nowadays) that will provide a hefty jolt of electricity about once per second.  Wire it to a cage that surrounds your cat, but is insulated from your car.  Set up wifi webcam.  Enjoy the hilarity that ensues.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/30/21 11:12 a.m.
1988RedT2 said:

Purchase a livestock fence charger (they make solar-powered ones nowadays) that will provide a hefty jolt of electricity about once per second.  Wire it to a cage that surrounds your cat, but is insulated from your car.  Set up wifi webcam.  Enjoy the hilarity that ensues.

Every time I hear about someone messing with a car, my mind goes in this direction. IIRC my farm boy brother in law did exactly this to his truck in high school.

But this is GRM. Get some cheap coilovers off eBay and slam it!

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
4/30/21 11:47 a.m.

Mount the heads of other thieves on spikes across the front grill Mad Max style to warn the others?

Kidding!  

My cars live inside a fenced back yard with motion detector lights and a protective doggo.

Saron81
Saron81 HalfDork
4/30/21 11:54 a.m.

Lower it. 
 

All the ones we replace here are from E350s and trucks that are super easy to get under. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
4/30/21 11:55 a.m.

I get by it by not having one. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
4/30/21 12:38 p.m.

My neighbors Honda got hit , $3500 to get it replaced at Honda Dealer !

It is probably  less than 30 feet from where I sleep and I did not hear anything !

and my Chevy Van must have a worthless converter as its easy to get under  the van and was parked in front of the Honda !

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/30/21 12:46 p.m.

Removing them? Having something old enough to not have them?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/30/21 12:51 p.m.

How have we gotten this far into this thread without this suggestion?

8 of the Most Underrated Pump Shotguns of All Time

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/30/21 12:53 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

it's literally the first response

 

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
4/30/21 12:59 p.m.

Move out of the ghetto!  Stop parking on the curb.

No, really that's what I told my brother.  He is a two Prius household, both got stolen, both now have under armor.  He doesn't live in the ghetto.

 

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/30/21 1:00 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

My neighbors Honda got hit , $3500 to get it replaced at Honda Dealer !

California law dictates only oem cats can be installed. This then forbids paying a local shop to install an aftermarket cat.

So many Gen2 Prius are being totaled in CA for this reason.

If I were closer, I would try to make a business model out of trailering out these cat-less Prius and then welding in a generally cheap aftermarket cat.  Sell the car in another state other than CA. 

Via Rock Auto it seems a Gen2 Prius could be re-cat-ed for $500 (outside of CA) 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
4/30/21 1:01 p.m.

My friend has had two stolen from his Prius as it sits in his drive way at night. Doesn’t hear a thing. 

He has now added a protection shield like the one pictured and some sort of alarm. We will see what happens.

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/30/21 1:08 p.m.

I have seen a couple of them at a local charity auction with the only problem listed "catalytic converter missing". Guess they would rather take the write off. 

Do you really need one for a rallycross car? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
4/30/21 1:10 p.m.
John Welsh said:
californiamilleghia said:

My neighbors Honda got hit , $3500 to get it replaced at Honda Dealer !

California law dictates only oem cats can be installed. This then forbids paying a local shop to install an aftermarket cat.

So many Gen2 Prius are being totaled in CA for this reason.

If I were closer, I would try to make a business model out of trailering out these cat-less Prius and then welding in a generally cheap aftermarket cat.  Sell the car in another state other than CA. 

Via Rock Auto it seems a Gen2 Prius could be re-cat-ed for $500 (outside of CA) 

Correction - you can install an aftermarket cat that has an EO. Which means it has to have the same effectiveness as a stock one, which means it has the same amount of expensive metals inside, which means it will cost as much as a stock one. But aftermarket cats are legal. Just not crappy EPA aftermarket cats.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/30/21 1:11 p.m.

German Shepherd?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/30/21 1:19 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Because I don't know...

If you were to install the cheapest cat you could find (outside of California) how would the car generally run?

Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter)
Snowdoggie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/30/21 1:26 p.m.
Saron81 said:

Lower it. 
 

All the ones we replace here are from E350s and trucks that are super easy to get under. 

I look at my Mustang and don't see how even the skinniest tweaker could get under there with any kind of cutting tool. The Corvettes in my parking garage are work are even lower than the Mustang. We are talking about late model stock vehicles here. Nothing modified. 

My Aussie barks his head off every time somebody gets in the front yard at night and gets the neighbor's four pit bulls going, then every other dog up and down the street starts barking. Last night a coyote tried to eat somebody's cat in my front yard and my dogs woke me up to watch. Every dog on the block went off and the guy across the street actually got his gun. Not a good place for thieves. There are so many hungry coyotes in the area now that stray cats are scarce, small dogs are running scared and being under a car after midnight might actually get your legs chewed by a curious coyote. 

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