We hate to say it, but your catalytic converter may have been stolen if you have any of the following problems with your SUV, car, or truck. It is common for people to steal catalytic converters because they are made from platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These are precious metals that are in high demand on the black market. Let’s talk about the signs of a missing catalytic converter below.
You will know immediately that something is not quite right when you start your engine after the converter has been taken. The engine will be much louder than normal and roar even louder when you press down on the accelerator. This roaring engine is actually the sound of the exhaust manifold forcing the exhaust into the place where the catalytic converter was installed.
You will also end up with a check engine light warning on the dashboard. There is no way to avoid this warning, and the light will remain lit until you replace the stolen converter. The CEL turns on because the exhaust system malfunctions due to the missing part. The converter treats the exhaust to convert harmful carbons in the exhaust before they are released into the open air.
You will also experience performance issues if the converter has been taken. Specifically, when you press down on the accelerator, the vehicle will jerk forward violently. It will do this several times. The reason why the acceleration is jerky is that the converter is not there to absorb the force of the exhaust being pushed out of the exhaust manifold.
You will also find it frustrating when you have to drive your vehicle slowly. The engine will lag and sputter because it cannot produce low-end torque effectively without the catalytic converter. This torque is the power production needed when you drive at slow speeds. These performance issues might discourage you from driving your vehicle.
We discourage you from driving your vehicle, not due to the performance issues but because it is dangerous when the catalytic converter is missing. Specifically, you will inhale the untreated exhaust that is released into the open air. The exhaust rises into the ventilation system and passenger cabin, especially when the windows are open. The exhaust can make you sick.
We would be happy to inspect your exhaust system and replace the catalytic converter. We will also repair any theft-related damage. Call us today for an appointment.