Is there anything I can do to prevent my catalytic converter from being stolen?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Joe Wall, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Joe Wall

    Joe Wall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    133
    25
    0
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    How do I prevent my catalytic converter from being stolen? Heard someone at work got theis stolen. I know you can buy a cage but anything I do for now to deter people from cutting mine?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    94,175
    42,686
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    keep it locked in a garage until you get the cat protector, and bear in mind they even steal those sometimes
     
  3. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    7,131
    5,835
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    One guaranteed method:
    Straight pipe and O2 sensor spoof.

    Of course....it's illegal and slightly irresponsible.

    There ARE some ways to make yourself a harder target:

    Live where they aggressively enforce property crimes.

    Sell the OEM cat and put on a brightly painted after-market unit (outside the PRC)

    Park in a garage at night.

    Use a cat-shield.

    Weld some scrap square-stock onto likely cut points.

    Clamp a bunch of muffler clamps onto the pipes, making them harder to cut.

    NRA +S&W, Glock, and Sig-Sauer stickers (may increase likelihood of getting the car broken into, depending on your state's carry laws)

    ---
    Good Luck!
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    94,175
    42,686
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i like the replace the cat now idea if it is legal in your state, and you can make good money too
     
  5. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,318
    2,645
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Main reason I haven't done this is I'll likely be polluting more if I cash out... Of course if I knew when I'd be a theft victim, then I'd cash out the day before. :) Of course life doesn't work that way... Or as they say in your family, "that's the way the cookie crumbles."
     
    bisco likes this.
  6. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,318
    2,645
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Soon as you straight pipe you eliminate the finely tuned back pressure on the exhaust system and lose horsepower as well as MPG and wherever you go your car will be surrounded by the 1970's stench of super dirty exhaust fumes that's setting our planet on fire. The amount of money you lose in filling up your tank more often will be huge as the years go by.
     
  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    4,333
    4,659
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Order this:

    Catalytic Converter For 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Toyota Prius 1.5L EPA OBD2 | eBay

    and then go to Oreilly Auto parts and purchase a 1 3/4" heavy duty pipe clamp made by Nickson and part # 17122 (may also be part 517134 or 35343)

    These after market cats are the best I've found. They fit great and are pretty quiet. Also have the best gasket and best bolt/spring combo that actually fit correctly. If you replace yours pre-emptively, you can easily reuse your originals. Unfortunately, this kit sometimes comes with a 2" clamp, which fits the upper section of pipe fine, but not the end of the pipe where it's crimped to fit snug over the OEM exhaust pipe. The clamp from Oreilly Auto is absolutely perfect and is a beast.

    Take your OEM cat and sell it for scrap and come out $1500 ahead of the game.
     
  8. Kenny94945

    Kenny94945 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    677
    345
    0
    Location:
    Sausalito
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Four
    I will answer with a no.

    Sure a Cage/ Shield may slow down the process,
    but a "professional" with a jig saw tool and torches will cut through these
    shields fairly quickly.

    IMO The benefits are that these shields are a slow down of the theft and to make the theft noisier.
    A car without a shield could be more attractive to steal from than a car with.
    Garaging at night may be the best option.

    For what its worth, and wishing you best best of luck.
     
  9. ETC(SS)

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

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    7,131
    5,835
    0
    Location:
    Redneck Riviera (Gulf South)
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    A bit of an exaggeration, eh?
    BUT.....it's beyond the scope of this discussion.

    It's not expensive to but an aftermarket cat on a car......in places where there are common sense laws.
    Not sure if the OP's state of WI is one of these or not.

    AS ALWAYS......real world mileage WILL vary. ;)
     
  10. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    2,564
    1,952
    0
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Raytheeagle and bisco like this.
  11. The Lizard King

    Joined:
    May 3, 2020
    80
    49
    0
    Location:
    55068
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Etch your VIN and license plate IN LARGE DIGITS and in plain sight into both OEM cats. I then would paint them with high-temp orange paint just so they look at them first before cutting them out. Finally, I would use a cat shield for the dumbest of the dumb/thieves who haven't figured out yet that you have severely devalued your cats to any scrap recycler.

    Not much else you can do IMO.
     
  12. Joe Wall

    Joe Wall Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    133
    25
    0
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I work at the hospital and go out. I cannot keep it in a garage at all times. I do at home though.
     
  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    9,365
    4,393
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Buy an after market cat now. They do not pollute more than stock. There $125 plus $100 to remove your cat and weld up your new cat.

    sell your oem cat on eBay it’s worth a fortune. So if you get clipped there taking a cheapo cat.
     
  14. rogerthat

    rogerthat Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2015
    190
    65
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Hmm, might consider this. Would any welding be required? I would likely take mine into a local muffler shop and get them to install it. Anything I should tell them to make sure they don't damage the original cat when removed? How about MPG... is this cat functionally identical to the original or is there any downside in replacing?

    Where are these thieves selling the stolen cats - assuming eventually they end up on Ebay? If the original cat has a part# etched on the cat, surely a public database of these numbers might help deter theft. Sellers would be required to validate these numbers before listing and buyers could also check on the database.
     
  15. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    4,333
    4,659
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Would any welding be required?

    No, all you do is cut the exhaust pipe about 2 inches in front of the resonator and de-bur the cut so the new pipe will slip over it. The 1 3/4" pipe clamp is then installed around the circumference of the pipes where they overlap. Tighten the clamp bolts and it's all sealed up. If desired, the joint can be welded, but I don't. The clamp should act as an indication it's an aftermarket cat to an observant thief. The O2 sensor connection is in the same position as OEM. The front of the OEM pipe is fastened to the exhaust manifold by 2 shoulder bolt/spring assemblies that allow the joint to flex as the engine moves around. It's important to always use the bolt/spring format to allow this flex so you don't end up breaking welds on the manifold/exhaust pipe or rapidly wear the donut gasket.

    Any shop should be able to do the swap very easily. I can have one done in an hour or less from the time a car arrives until it's being driven away. That's doing it using drive on style ramps in front and jack stands in the back (and laying on my back under the car). A real lift would cut that time considerably.

    If it does get stolen again (as I had happen once) all you have to do is unclamp it and use a cutting wheel to split one side of the outer pipe and it will slide right off. Then install another aftermarket cat. I had a custom bumper sticker made that states an aftermarket catalytic converter has been installed. Hopefully, my local thieves can read.

    My last full tank in my 2007 was showing 54.7mpg with 500+ miles on the MFD, so I don't consider it to detrimental to mpg. I still use the OEM O2 sensor, and the car has never triggered a P0420 code, so I'm going to assume the car is happy with it's level of emissions. I have several of these installed and haven't had any problems yet.
     
    rogerthat likes this.
  16. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    6,318
    2,645
    0
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I know people who basically quit there job and never go out anymore because they're so scared of the world... Most of them were pushed over the edge by the pandemic. So if you want to be like them you can finally feel "safe." :)
     
Loading...