Catalytic Converter 101: Valley Mechanics Offer Advice In Light Of Mesa Operation

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News of the Mesa Police Department’s undercover operation involving catalytic converter thefts reinforces comes as no surprise to your Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO). For months, the certified mechanics have seen a stream of customers needing to replace their catalytic converters.

Operation Heavy Metal uncovered 141 stolen catalytic converters valued at more than $40,000. Mesa Police say the city saw only one stolen converter case in 2018. That increased to 69 in 2020 and a whopping 431 so far in 2021.

Replacing a catalytic converter is not cheap. That’s why a NARPRO representative is available to answer some important consumer questions, including:

Q. What is a catalytic converter?

A. Located underneath your vehicle is the exhaust system. The catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device to reduce toxic gasses and pollutants in exhaust gas.

Q. Why are catalytic converters being stolen?

A: With stricter car emissions rules around the world, demand for metals used in converters (platinum, palladium and rhodium) has skyrocketed. In some cases, the metals are worth more per ounce than gold.

Q. How do you know if your converter has been stolen?

A. Unfortunately, you won’t know until you start your car. Your vehicle will make a loud roaring sound and get louder as you press the gas pedal. It may also make a sputtering sound and not drive as smoothly.

Q. How can you prevent your catalytic converter from being stolen?

A. Park in a garage if possible. If you must park outdoors, choose well-lit areas as close to building entrances as you can. Set your car alarm to go off when it detects vibration. Engraving your VIN number on the converter can alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and identify the owner.

Q. How do you get the right repair?

A. Ask questions and get quotes from reputable shops with certified mechanics. Replacing a catalytic converter could be as cheap as $300 or as expensive as $3000. It’s important to know that if the replacement is not a federal converter, it will not last long and could fail the emissions test that vehicles in Arizona are required to pass.

 

NARPRO (Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals)

The Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals (NARPRO) helps car owners find skilled and honest car repair shops. NARPRO only recommends independent, family-owned, full-service auto repair shops that have passed 26 rigorous tests. Visit www.NARPRO.com to find recommended shops near work or home. NARPRO is the easiest way to find an honest mechanic in the Valley.

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