Why do people steal catalytic converters?


Media reports concerning gangs that specialize in stealing catalytic converters are frequently found. Because we believe that metals like copper are well-paid on the black market, we are more or less “acquainted” with the theft of these materials. catalytic converters are taken, but why? Is it that lucrative?

First, keep in mind the catalyst’s purpose. Before releasing car exhaust gases into the atmosphere, this gadget changes them chemically. These changes are made to lessen the amount of various toxic gases produced during combustion, primarily carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides.

Palladium, rhodium, and platinum are impregnated into the ceramic panel of the catalyst. When in contact with dangerous gases, it reacts to produce noble or inert gases that are less polluting when released into the atmosphere.

The catalyst has a useful life of around ten years, after which it no longer works, but the metals continue to have valuable qualities and can be recycled. When a motivator has served its purpose, it is recycled in specialist facilities using a very involved procedure involving platinum, palladium, and rhodium extraction. Furthermore, only a few businesses are certified to carry out these tasks.

How do catalytic converters steal?

Although occasionally, they are restricted to cutting the exhaust pipe or taking them off one at a time by tying a cable to another car, catalytic converters thieves are outfitted with a specific tool to remove these devices. Commercial cars are the primary targets of gangs specializing in the theft of catalytic converters since they are larger, contain more metal, and are simpler to steal.

The theft of catalytic converters has recently caused transportation firms so much trouble that some have decided to weld their cars’ engines to the exhaust pipe to prevent the theft of the stimuli.

How much does platinum cost?

The value of precious metals continuously varies widely and is based on what the stock market is marking. It decreased significantly after the 2008 financial crisis. The ounce of palladium is quoted at 660 euros, or more than 21 euros per gram, whereas the ounce of gold is currently above 1,100 euros, the ounce weighing 31.1 g, with which the gram would be paid at approximately 37 euros.

If we assume that each catalyst contains one to two kilos of platinum, the “profit” for each device would be, at best, around 80 euros. From this amount, we need to deduct the extraction expenses, which are high and labor-intensive. As a result, the theft of catalytic converters is a criminal enterprise run by gangs looking to commit large-scale robberies of triggers, which they then resell to those who will recycle them legally on the black market. Even robberies and burglaries of scrapyards have happened in the past to steal catalytic converters.

What happens if your catalyst is stolen?

Since the engine does not lose performance when the catalyst is missing, the theft of the stimulus shouldn’t mechanically harm your car other than the damage itself. In fact, until recently, some people would remove their car’s trigger when they traveled to Africa because the fuel in those nations was of far worse quality than that provided in Europe, making it more likely that it would be damaged.

It is typical for the insurance settlement to cover at least 80% of the cost of your catalyst if it is stolen. But take note: If the stimulus is the only component they have taken from the car, insurers like Mapfre won’t pay for the cost of it. You can buy also it if it’s stolen, but it’s quite expensive.

Why do we need a catalytic converter?

While cars have evidently made our lives easier, they are responsible for generating a great number of fumes and gasses called emissions. These emissions are responsible for causing air pollution. For this reason, the United States decided to pass the Clean Air Act to help reduce the number of emissions being produced by various industries.

Later on, an amendment known as the National Emissions Standards Act set out the first federal standards for vehicle emissions. Henceforth, each state has regulations that adhere to federal standards. In fact, many states require that all registered cars must be tested to evaluate their emission output.


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