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Columbia Heights, MN


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Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Lowell's Auto Repair Helps with Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

A catalytic converter is an emission control device that is installed in the exhaust system of vehicles with internal combustion engines. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants that are emitted into the atmosphere.

The catalytic converter works by converting toxic gases and pollutants in the exhaust stream into less harmful substances, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen gas. It does this through a chemical reaction that takes place on the surface of the converter’s catalyst, which is usually made of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Catalytic converters have become a standard feature on most vehicles since the 1970s, when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first began regulating vehicle emissions. They have been effective in reducing the amount of harmful pollutants released into the air, helping to improve air quality and reduce the negative impacts of vehicle emissions on human health and the environment.

Repair and Replacement

A catalytic converter is an important part of your car’s exhaust system that helps to reduce harmful emissions. Over time, it may become clogged or damaged and require repair or replacement. The first step in repairing a catalytic converter is to determine if it is actually the problem. Our mechanics will use diagnostic tools to check the performance of your car’s exhaust system and identify any issues that need to be addressed. 

If the catalytic converter is only partially clogged, it may be possible to repair it. However, if it is completely blocked or damaged, replacement is usually the only option. The cost of catalytic converter repair or replacement can vary widely depending on the make and model of your car and the extent of the damage. In general, replacement is more expensive than repair.

If you suspect that your catalytic converter is not working properly, it is important to have it inspected and repaired or replaced as soon as possible to ensure that your car meets emissions standards and runs properly. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  1. Check Engine Light: The most obvious sign that there is a problem with your catalytic converter is when the check engine light comes on. A diagnostic code may also indicate that there is an issue with the catalytic converter.

  2. Decreased Performance: If your car has decreased power or acceleration, it may be due to a clogged or damaged catalytic converter. This can happen because the converter restricts the flow of exhaust gases, leading to decreased engine performance.

  3. Reduced Fuel Efficiency: A failing catalytic converter can also reduce your car’s fuel efficiency. This is because the engine has to work harder to push exhaust gases through the converter, which uses more fuel.

  4. Foul Smells: If you notice a strong, unpleasant smell of sulfur or rotten eggs coming from your exhaust, it could be a sign that your catalytic converter is not working properly.

  5. Loud Noises: A damaged catalytic converter can also cause loud, unusual noises coming from your exhaust. This can happen if the converter is loose or rattling around.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to have your car inspected by one of our mechanics as soon as possible. A failing catalytic converter can not only affect the performance of your car but also lead to higher emissions and environmental damage.

Theft and Theft Prevention

Theft of catalytic converters has become an increasingly common problem in recent years, particularly in urban areas. This is because catalytic converters contain precious metals that are valuable to scrap metal dealers, and the theft of these devices can be relatively easy and quick.

There are several ways to we can help prevent the theft of catalytic converters:

  1. Install an aftermarket security device: There are several security devices available that can help prevent theft of catalytic converters. These include protective shields or cages that cover the converter, locking bolts that secure the converter to the vehicle, or alarms that sound when the converter is tampered with.

  2. Engrave the converter with a unique identifier: Engraving the catalytic converter with a unique identifier, such as the vehicle’s VIN or license plate number, can make it easier to track and recover if it is stolen.

  3. Mark the converter with paint or etching: Marking the catalytic converter with paint or etching can make it less attractive to thieves, as it will be more difficult to sell or recycle without detection.

By taking these steps, vehicle owners can reduce the risk theft and protect their vehicles from this costly and inconvenient crime. Come to Lowell’s Auto Repair and let our experienced professionals help you with replacement issues and theft prevention strategies.

Schedule your repair visit today.