Catalytic converter protection: Auto Defender vs. Cat Shield?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by NewHybridOwner, May 17, 2020.

  1. MoeHoward

    MoeHoward Junior Member

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    Just got off the phone with Putnam Toyota in Burlingame, CA. I have the plate already and asked them how much will it be to have them install it. They stated it would be $432. I double checked and firmed that they understood that I’ll be supplying the CAT plate and I’m just looking to get it installed. They acknowledge they understood this. I then asked them how many hours of labor will this take. After getting put on hold, they came back and said it will take 3 hours of labor.

    Takk about screwing over your customers. Either they are scamming customers or have no idea how to properly install these plates. Also asked the cost for if they where to both supplied the plate and installed it. They stated, $480...
     
  2. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    There is no place in Wisconsin that carries it, but I'm sure shops would be willing to install it. I'm currently traveling, and concerned someone will steal my catalytic converter while parked in a hotel parking lot. A friend of mine had hers stolen last night while her Prius was parked in front of her condo. 90 seconds is all it takes.
    So today I contacted a Toyota Dealer (in Texas) who keeps them in stock (but didn't have one for the Gen 3, so will order it for me), and said they charge around $600! I challenged that. They said it's two hours labor by a "master mechanic" for $330, plus the Millercat Cat Shield. They said they need to "drill 30 holes!" I challenged that as well, but they said that's how they do it. Wow.
    But I've got an appointment, because I can't sleep at night thinking of getting stranded at some motel in some small town while traveling.
     
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  3. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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  4. MinniePrius

    MinniePrius Junior Member

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    After the catalytic converters being stolen of my son's & husband's vehicles (husband's in broad daylight at Menards) in the last two weeks, I'll be having a shield installed on my Prius Prime. It's gotten so bad around here.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  5. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    Good idea. People usually buy burglar alarms after a break in.
     
  6. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    My friend said they got quotes of up to $2,000 to get a new Cat installed! She found a private mechanic who did it for $500, including parts and labor. (An after-market catalytic converter, I'm sure.) The mechanic told her he just finished replacing another Prius Cat the day before. I encouraged her to also get a shield -- otherwise it'll just happen again.
     
  7. wasambi

    wasambi New Member

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    You guys need to do some more research.. If you go with Cap City Security Cat Shield, your vehicle's frame is gonna get permanently damaged over time from galvanic corrosion. They don't do anything to mitigate these potential damages.

    That's why you go with a company that's actually done thorough research and is an expert in the industry. Not just a no name company that builds things without thinking and spends a bunch of money on marketing.
     
  8. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    I finally got around to installing the forward portion of the Auto Defender that I purchased. I simply used zinc coated rivet nuts and conventional M6x16 mm flanged head bolts and fender washers to install mine. I tried two different rivet nut tools that weren’t worth the time wasted waiting on them to arrive. I used a bolt long enough to pass all the way thru the insert, a flat washer, and a backup nut to install the inserts. I know that conventional hardware can be removed with hand tools, but I don’t believe that someone wanting to steal the converter will take the time to remove them. They will find an easier target and move on.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    Toyota installed the Millercat Cat Shield on my Gen 3 Prius today. They said they are seeing more and more cars coming in with the cat stolen. Not just Prius, but also the larger SUVs.

    The mark-up was pretty hefty: $250.89 for the shield, plus $255.00 for labor, $505.89 total. It took the shop perhaps 1 hour and 30 minutes to install. I say "perhaps," because it could be they installed it more quickly. That's just the time it was on the hoist, according to my dashcam. I would have bought the shield myself, but currently we're traveling. I didn't want to wake up in "Podunk Hotel" and discover the cat was gone!

    Millercat3.jpg Millercat2.jpg Millercat1.jpg

    (The photos make it look a bit curved, that's the lens. It's flat, except for the tabs and end that's folded up.)
     
    #69 Terrell, Feb 2, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  10. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Looking good. Now you don’t have to worry anymore.
     
  11. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    Now only about mice getting in.

    At some point, I'd like to install some sort of "shake" sensor for when bears are trying to open the "lunch box" for some food.
     
  12. Barsoapguy

    Barsoapguy New Member

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    Hard to find good quality jacks these days I hear .....
     
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  13. Miller CAT

    Miller CAT Junior Member

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    For those who want the ultimate level of protection for their Prius Gen 3, 4, and V we are now offering our shields in 304 stainless steel. http://www.catshield.com.
     
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  14. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    Any thoughts of branching out into the non Prius realm of vehicles? The 2500/3500 Express/Savana twins are hit hard in my local area.
     
  15. Terrell

    Terrell Old-Timer

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    Can you please give some specifics? How much time would a thief need to cut the original aluminum shield vs the new 304 stainless shield? What's the weight difference? Thanks!
     
  16. Miller CAT

    Miller CAT Junior Member

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    We just launched the Lexus ct 200h, and are releasing a Honda Element very shortly. We’ve been experimenting with different metals like stainless steel and you’ll start seeing many new products for different cars that aren’t like your typical “shield”. follow us on Instagram or Twitter to see all the latest products.
     
  17. Miller CAT

    Miller CAT Junior Member

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    Sorry I don’t have an answer to how much longer it would take a thief, but I would say it would probably be twice as hard and much likelier to get caught. Even with an aluminum shield a thief would need to make several passes across it to remove the converter. Trying to make those same passes on stainless that is far more sturdy and rigid it would probably take at least twice the amount of time and twice the noise. Also with the stainless, since it’s harder to bend, you would need to cut the shield up even more than the aluminum to remove the converter after you cut up the shield. The weight is twice that of aluminum.
     
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  18. Blue Prius2015

    Blue Prius2015 Junior Member

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    Putting a lock on a wooden boat's cabin, someone advised me to not make it too secure because that means the thief goes from trying to break in with a pen knife to pulling out a hatchet, and that comes with serious damage that will cost more than what was stolen.

    But for the Prius, things seem a bit different because it is $200 in "sensible" protection versus $2k in repairs. I've got coming here the MillerCat s/s shield with their "better" (not "best") bolts which will have the heads coated in epoxy. (A heat gun will soften epoxy when, if ever, the shield comes off). I figure this shield is just shy of someone taking on top wrecking measures.

    Incidentally, I've got a rivet nut tool that is 11" long...

    "TACKLIFE Professional Rivet Nut Tool, 11" Rivet Setter Kit with 6 Metric & SAE Mandrels, for Tight Space, 60pcs Rivet Nuts and Sturdy Case ..."

    an Amazon find that has me optimistic that, up on front wheel ramps and rear wheels jacked and blocked and secured with jack stands, that this is a DIY driveway job.

    Moreover, I've also got coming an item that someone mentioned in an earlier post, and that strikes me as a really cheap "scare away." A tilt alarm. About $18. I have no idea about it other than a bike owner said it has worked repeatedly (a sidewalk person said 4 people, at different times, attempted to steal the bike and left in a hurry when the alarm went off.).

    I prefer honest people. Next I'd prefer someone who is run off by an audio alarm. Then a secure cat protection shield that confounds a thief without a workshop of tools at hand. and a sense of imminent arrest and will get the heck out from under the car.

    Thanks to all, especially Georgina, for all the great comments.
     
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  19. diggie

    diggie Junior Member

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    First of all, let me start by saying as someone who street parks, your product has let me sleep again at night. My neighborhood is lit up with reports of cat thefts right now, and I am regularly recommending you to people.

    Regarding the shields, I have a Prius Gen 4. I have your Aluminum shield on it, and I saw the steel shield just came out. Since I already have a shield on there I've already reached a certain level of protection that I'm comfortable with, but I would like to know more about galvanic corrosion.

    My belief is that Aluminum is high potential in the galvanic series, but my problem is that I don't know a) what specific alloy you use or b) what specific steel Toyota makes the frame from. I understand you took care with the mounting hardware to reduce the likelihood of corrosion, but if it was to occur my hope would be that it would be the shield that would be the sacrificial material, and not the frame. Is that correct?

    Looking at some galvanic charts it looks like stainless vs. e.g. carbon steel might work the other way around, so if I lived in an area with heavily salted roads I might weigh the added cutting resistance against very long term effects on the frame, is that correct?

    Just trying to make sure I understand this correctly, for me it's a very important consideration as to whether I'll buy and fit the newer model or keep what I have for now.

    Finally, as far as I know only the Gen 4 shield will be easily replaceable due to rivets on the other models. Is there any discount available for someone who bought a gen 4 aluminum and wanted to upgrade?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.
     
  20. cnc97

    cnc97 Senior Member

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    I will just add that I installed my own on a Gen 3. It is an aluminum one from one of the other vendors. Zinc plated rivnuts, grade 5.5 M6x16 hex head bolts. Mine can be removed with basic hand tools. Yes, it’s not as secure as the vendor intended, HOWEVER, I don’t believe that a cat thief will want to take the time to remove said normal hardware. They are going to find an unshielded converter.
     
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