Do thieves steal catalytic converters from 2019 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by ymoten, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Allyeds3

    Allyeds3 New Member

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    Mine was cut this week while parked at work. It was all caught in camera. Bottom line, it happed at 830 am, 3 man team, cars parked on either side of mine. It took them one minute. Sawzall was used.
     

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  2. MIkeDr

    MIkeDr Active Member

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    what part of Washington are you at?
     
  3. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Is that a 2019 (or Gen 4) - which is what the FORUM is about?
     
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  4. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    Common on the Gen2, the OP was asking about Gen 4.
     
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  5. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Absolutely. Gen 2 and Gen 4 are very, very different cars. As is the possibility of stealing - definitely no comparison.
     
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  6. roadwarrior28

    roadwarrior28 Member

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    Sorry if this is too off topic but I see a number of Bay Area people in this thread. Social distancing and lockdowns permitting, would anyone be interested in renting a lift together and putting on our shields? I have mine, just haven't gotten around to putting it on yet and would prefer doing it on a lift rather than jack stands. In the North Bay currently
     
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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Where in the North Bay and what type of timing are you looking at:whistle:?

    And a Gen4, like the one in your avatar pic?
     
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  8. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Curious who is offering this service, as both "Lifted" and "Pit Row" closed down before 2020.

    Unfortunately we don't have a Stews Garage down here, and we can only hope they'll grow into California.

    There is Garagetime | Rent a DIY garage or lift | Work on your car or motorcycle - which finally has a couple of local listings, but not a lift.
     
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  9. Prius7Prime

    Prius7Prime Junior Member

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    in my area there has been in the recent months a massive uptick in theft. i think even the local police had a giant event where they for free lasered or etched your vin or license onto the converter. its been crazy. so many more people are aware but that came with the price of as much or more being stolen. i too am in CA.
     
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  10. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    While most of us who know and thieves that also know how much more difficult a Gen 4 cat is to steal, they are not the ones that should worry the Gen 4 Prius owner.

    It's the stupid thief and all the damage he or she would do in the attempt.
     
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  11. Just Peg

    Just Peg New Member

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    Three pods in Gen4 cat' area.JPG Miller CatShield covers only two pods.JPG
    The photos of the cat area show three pods. The most forward one is a cat'. What is the the second pod? What is the third pod towards the center of the car? The Miller CatShield does not cover the third pod. Is it something cheap that won't get cut off and stolen?

    --------------------------------------------New question---------------------------------------------------------

    I read somewhere that Millercat leaves the vents over the cat's, for the emissions inspectors. I read that the emissions inspectors (in California) need to see the cat's to verify that they are genuine Toyota OEM cat's. I thought I read that Toyota stamps it's ID on the cat's.

    I have a Gen 4 AWD. Today I looked at the forward most pod which I know is the visible cat'. I did not see a Toyota ID stamp on it anywhere. I took photos. The second pod is gold colored. Again, I saw no Toyota ID on it at all. AlanClarkeau informed me that the third pod is the sub-muffler. It did have 'Toyota' and a number stamped into it. But the third pod is not a cat'. This entire system is called the front exhaust system. Is the stamp on the sub-muffler the only stamp that the inspectors need to see for the Gen4?

    I want to paint my cats bright orange/red as recommended by the California police dept's. But I do not want to cover up any stamp that the inspectors are looking for. Which of the three pods should I paint? The two up front? On the Gen4, where are the stamps that the inspectors are looking for, to verify that the cats are true Toyota OEM parts?
    Visible cat..jpg Gold middle pod.jpg Rear pod (Sub-muffler per AlanClarkeau).jpg
     
    #51 Just Peg, Apr 4, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    It's a sub-muffler.

    I'm still intrigued - has a Gen 4 Catalytic Converter EVER been stolen? I've asked a lot of times - but nobody has ever said YES.

    upload_2021-4-5_14-19-48.png
    upload_2021-4-5_14-20-17.png
    upload_2021-4-5_14-21-55.png
     
  13. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The front converter is built into the exhaust manifold. 86d38e966e3e6e6b93445dcf4df8069c.png

    The second cat is the only one visible under the car.

    9fd0079df4c4cdfe255e2617ee79851a.png

    The middle section is the exhaust engine preheater. The last section is the resonator.

    Apparently, the second cat is the only part that can be readily stolen. Most of the precious metals reside in the difficult to steal front cat built into the exhaust manifold.

    Only a rank amateur cat thief would want to steal the second cat. That idiot might likely cause more destruction by cutting into the preheater and releasing the coolant.
     
    #53 Georgina Rudkus, Apr 5, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
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  14. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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  15. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    The lettering of the cat stamp is embossed in raised letters and numbers. It will be visible when painted. The indented stamp of "Toyota 33" is on the resonator and not an ID for the catalytic converter. It has no value except for pennies as scrap metal.
     
    #55 Georgina Rudkus, Apr 5, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
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  16. Just Peg

    Just Peg New Member

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    I have not heard of one reported stolen yet. My neighbor told me about the thefts on Toyota Prii. He has recycled metals for years. Now he mainly recycles cats because they are so much more valuable. He said the gen4 is targeted less because they are being made with less precious metals than the earlier generations. He gets both cats from junked cars. But, like you pointed out, thieves can only reach the lower cat on the gen4. In earlier gens, thieves get two cats.

    Still, my neighbor put the scare into me. Not all thieves are clever. A stupid one may steal all three pods, hoping for a big payoff. They usually damage the O2 sensor in the process, and it needs replacing too. The replacement cat' in NJ must be a CARB OEM NEW Toyota part. It can't even be used. Dealerships will make lots of money replacing these. So they are not motivated to change the situation. The cost in parts and LABOR is between $2000-$3000. Here in NJ, we pay top dollar for labor. I suspect, we will be paying $3000. That's more than 10% the total cost of my car including tax and extra add-ons. To me it's worth it to pay up to $1000 in parts and labor to avoid a theft on a new car. That means engraving Vin #, maybe cable straps, cat-shield, tilt-sensor alarm system and/or undercarriage motion detection system, security camera that transmits to phone.

    The cat shield also makes a great skid plate to protect the exposed front exhaust system. Choose the stainless steel version. Aluminum will cause the cars undercarriage to rust out earlier because of the dissimilar metals. I'd rather be pre-emptive and pay for an anti-theft system now, than pay for expensive repairs later.
     
  17. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I'd be more concerned with corrosion from salt and road debris between the plate and the frame rails than an aluminum cat shield.

    Likewise, the gap between the plastic undercovers and the steel body, when inundated with road salt and other debris rapidly promotes rust and corrosion. The only answer to these issues is to remove the covers, spay the metal with rustproofing, and to replace the covers. Spraying the steel contact area with rustproofing before installing the shield will forestall any corrosion.
     
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  18. Just Peg

    Just Peg New Member

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    I want to give special thanks to Georgina and Alan for identifying the parts of the cat exhaust system so quickly and thoroughly. You both have been extremely helpful to me as I learn how to work on my car. Happy Easter! - Peg
     
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  19. mc510

    mc510 Junior Member

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    Thanks for this great thread; I've been curious about the risk with my Gen4 and this has helped a lot. The Miller Cat plate seems like a worthwhile investment at $190, even if just to guard against the potential idiot who doesn't know it's not worth stealing. Just a little concerned about those tamper resistant bolts. What do y'all think about filling the bolt-heads after installation with some material that would deter a thief but that could be removed with, say, a heat gun and a small screwdriver and 10 minutes of effort? What would be a good material?
     
  20. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    I wouldn't worry much at all. Of one wants to quickly remove any fasteners easily and quickly, they'd use a battery powered angle grinder tilted on the edge of the disk.
     
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