Catalytic Converter Theft, Parts and Repair

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by booi, Jun 2, 2020.

  1. booi

    booi Junior Member

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    Hi guys,

    This is my first post but I felt the pain enough to hopefully try to help some of you. My second-gen 2006 Prius (194k miles) catalytic converter was stolen about a week ago without comprehensive coverage and here's what I ended up doing.

    Why
    Because of CA's high standards, the catalytic converter needs to be CARB certified and the genuine OEM part is the only one available. It has a large amount of rare metals such as palladium, platinum that have skyrocketed in price recently. This is what has caused a string of thefts that, from what I hear, can net up to $800 from a scrap metal place.

    The Theft
    I live in the bay area in CA with the prius parked on the street. This is usually a pretty quiet street that's safe, I've never had a package stolen ever. I did not hear the theft or know it was stolen until I went to start the car to keep it charged. They used a reciprocating saw to cut the catalytic converter out as well as cut the O2 sensor. The muffler itself is usually not damaged. You can find videos of this

    The Damage
    My local hybrid shop, Lucious Garage in San Francisco, CA is usually my go-to. They did my hybrid battery cell replacement/rebuild only about a year ago which is part of the reason why I want to get it fixed.

    Lucious Garage full service replacement quote - $3,100

    Part Numbers
    The KBB value of the car is something like $3000-4000 WITH the catalytic converter so I'm trying to save as much money here as possible. I bought the parts from my local dealer City Toyota. Online with pickup ended up being significantly cheaper than the other options. Here are the part numbers I needed to get:

    17410-21500 - $1,762 - "Exhaust Pipe" (this is the entire exhaust system including the catalytic converter but not the muffler)
    89465-47070 - $139 - Oxygen Sensor, there are 2 "oxygen sensors" you want this one that connects to the cat.
    17451-21060 - $47.28 - Front exhaust gasket
    90080-10291 - $3.98/ea - 2x Exhaust Manifold Bolt And Spring (one of these is the spring bolt and one is the spring)
    90501-A0031 - $4.28/ea - 2x Exhaust Manifold Bolt And Spring

    Protection
    Now honestly, this whole thing is pointless if there's no protection from this happening in the future. I went with Cat Security from Cap City Muffler, $160 shipped.

    Installation
    Went with a local trusted muffler place. Driving the car without the catalytic converter (or any exhaust system really) is technically "illegal" but is safe. The "check engine" light came on while driving it and it was extremely loud but hiring a tow truck seemed overkill considering the cost. If you have AAA or a tow option on your insurance it probably makes sense to just get it towed.

    Local muffler catalytic installation - $250
    Local muffler cat shield installation - $300 (this seemed high but the amount of work they had to do, creating mounting points, seemed time consuming).

    It took about 3 hours to get everything installed. You need to drive it for a while to get the new cat and o2 sensor to register correctly before a smog check (I found out the hard way...)

    Insurance
    Because of the high cost of this as well as the prevalence of theft, I believe comprehensive insurance is worth it even though the car is not worth that much. I added back comprehensive insurance for about $6/mo :\

    I hope this helps someone here, sorry there are no links, it wouldn't let me post links for some reason. I ended spending about $2,800 out the door and I'm sure I could have gotten a better deal if I tried harder. Please comment below if you guys have found better deals to hopefully make it less painful for those who follow.

    And please, please, please add comprehensive insurance at the very least no matter how old your Prius is.

    Black lives matter.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome, and thank you!(y)

    this makes a good case for pure ev's
     
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  3. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Quick money for newly unemployed. Big hurt for those of us who don't steal for for a living.
     
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  4. The Lizard King

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    Same thing happened to my 2008 Prius a month and a half ago. I bought all the Toyota OEM parts (flange bolts with springs, O2 sensor, and flange gasket) except for the catalytic converter itself. Since I don't live in CA, I bought a MagnaFlow 49752. I bought every part from amazon. I also bought the Cap City shield for $160 shipped. Total cost after installation at the local garage -- about $1,300.
     
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  5. Salvage09

    Salvage09 Junior Member

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    Had the same thing happen 2 years ago, parked on the street overnight in Silver Lake/Los Feliz, big roaring when I started up. There had been a string of these in the area.
    Local muffler shop on Glendale Ave charged ~$2400
    State Farm covered most of it.
    Ouch.
    Now I park in a garage under my apartment bldg. Nominally gated, but people walk in and out all the time
     
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  6. yes2matt

    yes2matt Junior Member

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    Will you help me figure out which oxygen sensors I need to replace? The thief cut the bolts attaching the cat to the manifold (you can see one tension spring stayed on the frame) and the pipe just before the muffler.

    According to the diagrams I should have the air/fuel (expensive one) intact as it's upstream of the joint there. But I can't tell if I need one or two of the O2 sensors that go on the cat.

    There is a single set of four wires hanging down. Visible in the picture but not clear.

    Also there are several Denso sensors that say they fit, can you tell me which I need? Cat is in transit to arrive in a couple days and I'd like to have all the parts on hand.

    Thanks. I had no idea this (cat theft) was an issue until ... yesterday. Ugh. Screenshot_20201001-230807_Video%20Player.jpg Screenshot_20201001-230833_Video%20Player.jpg

    SM-J737P ?
     
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  7. lexidium

    lexidium Member

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    You can get the Denso one. Works fine but the wires are a different colour.
    I stripped them and joined it inside a plastic junction box.
    The 2 whites go to the blacks on the denso
    The black goes to the blue on the denso
    The grey goes to the white on the denso
    It's good and it's cheap.
     
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  8. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    What cat did you purchase?
     
  9. yes2matt

    yes2matt Junior Member

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    Fits 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Toyota Prius 1.5L V4 Catalytic Converter | eBay

    I'd like to make a review of this product since I linked to it.
    Packing and shipping were effective and quick enough. It arrived UPS.
    It is the right size and shape and it fits.
    It comes with a new gasket, new spring bolts and a 1 7/8 pipe clamp.
    My dad taught me to weld when I was seven, and this is how my welds looked until my second week. But these are complete and intact. :]
    The flange is round and curved properly to fit the gasket and the gasket is the right size.

    However.

    The pipe clamp might lead you the buyer to believe that you could attach this exhaust pipe to the one that's coming out of the upstream end of the muffler by either sliding it over or sliding it inside and clamping down the bigger pipe. Not so! This is the same size pipe! So you will either be making a friend with a welder or find a creative way to put them together.

    The way I did it was to cut three 1.5 slots into the new pipe, and use big pliers to flange it out big enough to fit over the original. Then I found some flashing and made a single wrap around the joint. Then I put the pipe clamp over the flashing at the part of the joint I thought was best for clamping. And away I rolled. It leaks a little and I might get some of the hi-temp JBWeld putty, pull off the flashing and goop up all the little gaps then flash and clamp it back up. Or I might not.

    Oh. And you'll need to purchase the O2 sensor separately, but this cat has the right size hole to accept it.

    SM-J737P ?

    I got the Denso one on Amazon.

    I didn't do any wire stripping. There are a couple youtubes show how to pull back the carpet at the passenger's feet and install the new sensor just like OEM. Super easy, one trim clip (see the video its hidden well!) to handle and it went right back to looking like an 04 Prius with over 300k on it.

    SM-J737P ?
     
    #9 yes2matt, Oct 2, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2020
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  10. Victorio Mo

    Victorio Mo Member

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    Get extra alarm, tilt sensor saved me 3000 a couple days ago.
    for Cat shield you can go Royal Car Limo Service in SSF, they have it 250 installed.
     
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  11. ColoradoCrow

    ColoradoCrow Member

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    In Colorado we have the right to protect property law. I have video cameras and an SBR suppressed loaded with green tip 5.56 to put holes in any theif on my lawn. Once videos of would be theives bleeding out on front lawns go viral.. they will go back to stealing something else.
     
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  12. uclabruins

    uclabruins Member

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    To the original poster - Thanks for the detailed post.

    Because of all the catalytic converter thefts, I decided to get some protection. The local repair shop that I trust has the Millercat cat shield in stock since there are so many thefts recently. For SoCal (LA county), it was $180 for the shield (retail on the Millercat website is the same) and $95 for one hour of labor. I think it took slightly less than an hour to install. (I think $300 to install is definitely high). Hopefully, the thieves will target a different prius when they see the shield.

    I was considering both the Cap City Muffler and Millercat, but went with the Millercat because he had it in stock, Toyota is recommending this shield, and some reviews I read about the Millercat here on priuschat.

    Cheers!
     
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  13. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Leaving aside the moral issues of killing somebody over a catalytic converter...
    Even on free soil, you're probably going to have DA trouble if you start knocking holes in a cat thief with a firearm.
    You may want to re-read the law.
    It probably says something like "reasonable force." ;)

    Now.......peppering their CAR with bird-shot or salt??? :sneaky:
     
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  14. booi

    booi Junior Member

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    Glad to hear it! Yeah $300 seems high for installation. It makes me wonder if Millercat is also easier to install? The Cap City shield needed something like 18 mounting holes to be MADE which seemed excessive and also.. is a lot of holes to poke.

    Don't forget the comprehensive coverage
     
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  15. uclabruins

    uclabruins Member

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    Yes, from the photo, there are less holes to be made on the Millercat than the Cap City Muffler shield.
     
  16. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    You might want to re-read that law. The versions I see state that you can use only "reasonable and appropriate physical force", and only to the extent that is reasonably necessary.

    Deadly force is only to defend yourself or another. I.e. you can't put holes in a simple thief who doesn't escalate to a threat to kill or maim you.

    =========================
    2016 Colorado Revised Statutes
    Title 18 - Criminal Code
    Article 1 - Provisions Applicable to Offenses Generally
    Part 7 - Justification and Exemptions From Criminal Responsibility
    § 18-1-706. Use of physical force in defense of property

    Universal Citation: CO Rev Stat § 18-1-706 (2016)
    A person is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the other person to commit theft, criminal mischief, or criminal tampering involving property, but he may use deadly physical force under these circumstances only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704.

    https://law.justia.com/codes/colorado/2016/title-18/article-1/part-7/section-18-1-706/
    CO 18-1-706. Use of physical force in defense of property – Law of Self Defense
     
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  17. Socal_Prius

    Socal_Prius Junior Member

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    Thanks for the detailed breakdown, we should archive this given the recent article about stolen cats in CA.

    Had you gotten full coverage on this car, what was the likelihood they would have scrapped the car? I ask because I'm on craigslist looking at the amount of cars in the Bay/East Bay area listed with stolen cats, are these theft recoveries that the insurance either didn't cover or the owners simply bought back?
     
  18. Kristen678

    Kristen678 Junior Member

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    Thanks to the OP for this post. Mine was just stolen from 2006. I have comprehensive coverage so, to answer Socal_Prius' question, it wasn't totaled by the insurance agency.
    As for carb compliant replacements - I think this Executive Order gives an aftermarket compliant converter for 2006 Priuses (a MagnaFlow). Unfortunately, it lists the MFG part number and I can't find it but hopefully the Exec Order helps someone.


    Executive Order
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the link is blank when i click on it, am i doing something wrong?
     
  20. Kristen678

    Kristen678 Junior Member

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    Maybe the link doesn't want to play nice. It's Executive Order D-193-151 if you want to do a search for it. I called MagnaFlow and the bad news is they are still in production and don't expect them to be available until August. :/
     
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