The skyrocketing price of palladium, fueled by increased market demand for this precious metal, has turned into a wave of thefts of a car catalytic converter.
According to the latest statistics, over the past six months, palladium prices have increased by more than 50%. As a result, this metal, which is actively used by automakers in a catalytic converter, designed to reduce harmful engine emissions, for the first time since 2002 has become more expensive than gold. This fact provoked the theft of catalysts.
Removing a catalytic converter from the car is not too difficult. It takes several minutes, and video instructions can be found on the Internet.Thieves operate in groups: at night they drive up to the chosen vehicle, saw off the catalytic converter with a piston saw, and then drive on. It is difficult to find robbers, as they hand over the stolen catalysts for scrap at pick-up points that do not require identification.
Experts attribute the growth in demand for palladium to new tightening of environmental requirements for cars, which caused the so-called "diesel gate". According to the forecasts of the world's largest palladium producer, the metal deficit in the market will persist until 2025. This year it will reach 1.4 million ounces.
One of the frequent catalytic converter victims is a Toyota Prius from 2009 to 2016.
For owners of hybrids, the theft of a catalyst has become a headache. Because of it, the general insurance of the car increases in price, and the part is expensive if you pay for the repair yourself. But in case if it happened to your catalytic converter and you have doubts about possible consequences, it is better to get more information.
There are certain disadvantages in driving without a catalyst, these include increased emission of harmful gases, non-compliance with environmental standards, smell of gases inside the car, increased noise, likelihood of burnout of the exhaust system.
What can happen if you drive without a catalytic converter?
There will be more caustic smoke, noise, environmental damage. Many argue that driving without a catalytic converter will not lead to anything. This is an erroneous opinion, because our exhaust system service already has dozens of cars with burned-out exhaust systems due to the lack of a catalytic converter.
The burnt exhaust system is the first and most frequent thing that happens when driving without a catalytic converter. No matter how expensive your car is, all stock exhaust systems are made from the same steel, and they are not good at all. You can drive without a catalytic converter if you have an engine up to 50 HP. It may not burn out, but are there still such cars. If you drive without a catalyst, then you will have to change the exhaust in a year or a year and a half, and this is completely different money, even in comparison with installing the original catalytic converter.
Traffic fumes without a catalyst will be very caustic. People in a car can be easily poisoned if you stand in a traffic jam and open a window with a favorable wind. Catalytic converter thereby deactivates the most dangerous components and chemical compounds in gases, so that you can drive safely. A backward wave of gases will not get into the engine of your car.
Sound of the exhaust system will change, it will become more severe and loud. The presence of a catalytic converter can soften the sound. But its main function is to extinguish high temperatures, unfortunately the only way to get rid of the car noise is to install additional mufflers if you are going to drive without a catalytic converter. And if you like the noise of a car, and you want to highlight it, you can put a resonator instead of a catalytic converter and the sound will become much brighter!
Can I drive without a catalytic converter?
Yes, you can drive without a catalytic converter, but you need to approach everything with your head. If you do not want your car to be repaired, then first you need to make sure that removing the catalytic converter is the best way for you.
It is normal also for a thief to pay special attention when selling a catalytic converter. Their scope is to sell them at the highest cost. This is important also for a car owner, when you need to change a catalytic converter. Search for a recycling company that will purchase your catalytic converter at a best cost. A spot that has vast experience in purchasing a catalytic converter is the best in the event that you need to sell it.