Monday, August 04, 2008

Catalytic Converters and You

Catalytic Converter Theft: Rising Platinum = Rising Problem - Trendhunter

This isn't news to me, but many drivers are unaware of the dangers. Platinum is often a primary component for catalytic converters as it provides the catalyst to convert harmful exhaust emissions into less harmful emissions. Along with Palladium and Rhodium, two metals often found in Platinum ore, a catalytic converter can fetch a decent amount of cash at refineries and salvage yards. The Wikipedia page on catalytic converters provides a useful rundown of what cats do and why they are a required part on nearly any internal combustion engine. There are even services now for preventing or deterring catalytic converter theft. The most common target for cat thieves are SUVs or other high clearance vehicles that don't require the use of a jack to slip under. Your average sedan on the other hand is too low for most people to fit under (believe me, even when set on jack stands it's hard to move around under a sedan). Still, it's an increasing problem and increased awareness of it helps prevent cat theft. It's not like you have to check under your car everyday to see if your cat is still there, but you'll know immediately when you start the engine because it'll sound like a prop jet is landing under your car.