Catalytic converter thefts spike as precious metal prices spike


Village Elder
Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise, and the crime increase is fueled by a number of factors.
St. Louis catalytic converter thefts were eight times higher in 2020 than years past. Lexington, SC and Wichita, KS both reported triple their typical numbers for 2020. Some cities don’t have detailed data available, but in general, the numbers are up across the board.

Prices for the valuable and precious metals needed for emissions controls found inside catalytic converters are rising. The NYT points out two materials found within converters in particular: palladium and rhodium. Palladium was worth about $17/gram five years ago, but hit $100/gram in 2020. Rhodium was $21/gram five years ago, but skyrocketed all the way up to $785/gram recently. Both of these materials are found in catalytic converters, so it’s no wonder that thieves want them. A greater demand for these metals from countries like China and others with emerging automotive markets that are pushing more emissions controls has pushed the prices up.


Village Elder
How do you get rid of the check engine light after I removed the converter?
Guys who have the diagnostic scanner can cancel the error. That said, it's not a good idea to remove the catalytic converter, or any sensor---don't listen to those guys who think they are better motor engineers than the manufacturer. Other serious problems can cause the light to come on, and you ignore it, assuming it's because the converter is out.


Village Sponsor
A greater demand for these metals from countries like China....
I thought @Sambamba and his team china friends said that China has significant amounts of rare earth metals or something to that effect.

They even said that China produces "90%" of planet earth's rare metals which is a clear lie because Chinamen are very busy looting rare earth metals like Cobalt from DRC as I write this. But anyway.