Thursday, October 14, 2021


QUESTION: My uncle moved from Sparta to California and had his automotive’s catalytic converter lower off and stolen. Why did…

By Staff , in Palladium , at October 14, 2021

QUESTION: My uncle moved from Sparta to California and had his automotive’s catalytic converter lower off and stolen. Why did thieves steal it?

ANSWER: Crooks steal catalytic converters as a result of they’re precious. Catalytic converters include expensive metals equivalent to platinum, palladium and rhodium. Rhodium sells for hundreds of {dollars} per ounce. These scumbags could extract the metals or could resell the unit. To interchange a catalytic converter will value a number of hundred to over a thousand {dollars}.

The catalytic converter is a part of a automotive’s exhaust system. The listed uncommon parts neutralize the dangerous gases discovered within the automotive’s exhaust. The unit is situated on the underside of the automotive alongside the pipe that channels exhaust gases from the engine to the muffler and out the tailpipe. In lots of vehicles, the catalytic converter seems to be like a muffler.

Most each state has emission requirements that vehicles should go. A automotive wants a functioning catalytic converter to go these checks. Contained in the converter, gases circulation by a dense ceramic honeycomb construction coated with catalysts. A catalyst is any substance that will increase the speed of a chemical response. One kind of catalyst removes oxygen from the nitrogen oxide pollutant to provide innocent nitrogen and oxygen gases. The opposite catalyst provides oxygen to carbon monoxide producing carbon dioxide. One other course of turns unburned hydrocarbons within the exhaust into carbon dioxide and water. After the converter has accomplished its job, what emerges from the exhaust pipe is usually nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water (within the type of steam).

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How efficient are catalytic converters? They don’t remove all pollution. They solely work at excessive temperatures, round 500-600 levels Fahrenheit. It takes a couple of minutes for the automotive to heat up and get to these temperatures, so for the primary couple of minutes and few miles the catalytic converter is ineffective.

The carbon dioxide emitted from vehicles contributes to greenhouse gases and, therefore, international warming. Additionally, the converter turns most nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen, and that’s good, however additionally they produce tiny quantities of nitrous oxide, which is a potent greenhouse fuel. Catalytic converters will not be excellent, however no person is suggesting we return to not having them on our autos.

Generally complete vehicles are stolen and directed to a chop store. These unlawful garages purchase stolen vehicles, disassemble them and promote the person components. Chop retailers strip the vehicles inside hours of stealing it. The proprietor and police have little likelihood of discovering it. Chop retailers are hidden away in small industrial areas or residential garages.

How are you aware your catalytic converter has been highjacked with out wanting below the automotive? The primary signal is absolutely loud noises. The catalytic converter helps scale back the sound in a automotive, similar to the muffler. Somebody crawled beneath and lower out the converter. It takes just some minutes for a thief to noticed the catalytic converter out of your automotive and depart you with massive bucks in injury.

The Toyota Prius is probably the most focused automotive for catalytic converter theft. As a low emissions car, Prius converters include bigger quantities of the dear metals of platinum, rhodium, and palladium. Thieves can fetch as a lot as $700 per converter from scrap yards. A Prius proprietor might be left with an expense as excessive as $2,000. Vehicles and SUVs are additionally frequent targets of catalytic converter theft as a result of they’re raised off the bottom. This makes it simpler to climb below and noticed by the steel.

The catalytic converter was invented by a French engineer Eugene Houdry (1892-1962) submitting a patent in April 1954. They solely grew to become sensible when leaded fuel was not accessible, beginning about 1975.

Your uncle in in good firm. California has the very best charge of automotive thefts, automotive break-ins and chop retailers of every other state. Somebody steered that California ought to be sawed off and floated out to sea, however we in all probability received’t see that occur quickly.

Sources: How Stuff Works,, native storage mechanic.

Larry Scheckel is a retired Tomah Excessive College physics instructor.

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