Which Cars Are Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converters Stolen?

which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen

A serious issue is catalytic converter theft. There’s a good chance that either you or someone you know has experienced catalytic converter theft.

Did you know that some cars have lower theft rates for their catalytic converters?

Theft of catalytic converters is a common occurrence in the US, according to the statistics at hand. We can imagine the worry that comes after discovering that your car’s catalytic converter is broken. Then another question appears! Which vehicles are least likely to have their catalytic converters stolen?

Which Cars Are Least Likely to Have Catalytic Converters Stolen?

Here is a list to help you get started if you reside in a rough area and want to choose a car that is less likely to be the victim of catalytic converter theft.

Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper

Minis are compact vehicles with some inventive engine packaging. The third-generation Mini’s catalytic converter is fastened to the downpipe right next to the turbocharger.

It’s completely out of the way from under the car because of this placement. To steal the catalytic converter, a thief would have to open the hood and unscrew a number of parts, which is a slow and obvious process.

Mazda RX-7 Or RX-8

If you can locate an RX-7 or RX-8 that still has its original catalytic converter and it wasn’t stolen, you’re lucky. Catalytic converters frequently fail on rotary engines.

Rotary engines frequently run rich and spew unburned fuel out of the exhaust. In order to lubricate the apex seals, rotary fuel is frequently premixed with oil. Both of these characteristics will quickly burn up the catalyst, leaving little to nothing for a thief to salvage.



The majority of luxury cars have sound deadening and underbody panels that prevent direct access to the catalytic converter. These panels can often only be removed by using specialized tools, like Torx bits, on many of these cars, especially Audis.

Even if a thief had access to these tools, it would still take a long time to remove these panels and gain access to the catalytic converters. The likelihood of thieves choosing a truck, SUV, or crossover is higher.

BMW E46 3 Series

BMW E46 3 Series

Some BMWs, including the E46 323i, 325i, 328i, and 330i models, have an integrated catalytic converter in the exhaust manifold. The hacksaw can’t really hurt this configuration.

A thief would need to gain access under the hood in order to remove the exhaust manifold’s bolt from the cylinder head.

Exotic Sports Cars

Exotic Sports Cars

There aren’t many Lamborghinis, Ferraris, or McLarens around. Due to their scarcity, stolen parts are much easier to find, which could discourage theft.

In addition, they frequently rest so low to the ground that a standard jack cannot be used to lift them.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Targeted by Thieves?

A catalytic converter’s metal components fetch high prices on the black market. A metal filter works well to change harmful gases like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide into less harmful ones.

Palladium, which effectively filters harmful chemicals from the exhaust system, is expensive. Catalytic converters are a price target because an ounce of the rare metal sells for about $3000.

Catalytic converters from your car’s exhaust system can be easily removed by a thief with an angle grinder. Because catalytic converters contain rare and important minerals, thieves can quickly remove the converter with a single tug.

Do All Cars Have a Catalytic Converter?

A catalytic converter is standard equipment in almost all automobiles with internal combustion engines manufactured after 1975. Various catalytic converters can be found in some vehicles.

Some catalytic converters are installed on each cylinder bank, while others are installed on the mid-pipe following the exhaust manifold.

An electric car won’t have a catalytic converter, but a hybrid will. In fact, some of the most expensive catalytic converters are found in hybrid cars. This is due to the catalyst being used less frequently than in a pure combustion engine because the car can occasionally run on electricity alone.

How to Avoid Catalytic Converter Theft?

Don’t worry if you don’t own one of the cars on this list. There are additional ways to avoid catalytic converter theft.

Install a Catalytic Converter Lock

which cars are least likely to have catalytic converter stolen

Theft of catalytic converters is prevented by a number of products available on the market. The Cat Clamp and other custom cages are among the many of these products that are mounted on top of the catalytic converter.

Catalytic converter locks make sawing through security much more difficult or impossible. A thief might steal your cat instead of someone else’s if you can stop them in their tracks long enough.

Park in a Well-Lit Area

Wherever they can avoid detection, thieves prefer to operate. You are less likely to experience theft if you leave your car in a busy, well-lit area. Vehicle break-ins also fall under this category. If you can locate a surveillance camera to park next to, you get bonus points.

Lower the Car

It’s more difficult to jack up low cars. A burglar would have a very difficult time getting to the catalytic converter if they couldn’t fit a jack under the vehicle.

You can lower your vehicle using a variety of options that are readily available on the market. In particular for sports cars, lowering springs and coilovers are common options. If you want to have a higher ride height while driving but a lower height when parked, think about installing an air suspension.

Park in a Garage

The best defense against catalytic converter theft is to keep the car hidden in a secure garage. Your car is not only not visible, but it is also difficult or impossible to reach in the first place.

Some apartments and cities offer locked garages for rent, though this isn’t an option for everyone.


Despite the fact that catalytic converter theft is widespread, some car owners can rest easy knowing their converters are probably secure. If a catalytic converter was stolen from you, try to comprehend how the thief got away with it.

Vehicles parked in congested, shadowy, or high areas frequently have their catalytic converters stolen. It’s best to leave your car in a private parking lot or, in a crowded parking lot, pick a well-lit space in order to avoid becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft.

Yvette Brown

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