Stolen Catalytic converter

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by MaxwellSFPrius, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    edthefox5
    = Do you get any codes from the after market cat?
     
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  2. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    No. Runs good but even if I do get a 420 I don’t care .

    My Crown Vic for instance has had a 420 code since I bought it. it’s gas tank related. Common on this car Replaced alot of parts with no joy car runs fine I’m over it no emmisions in fla as you know.

    Kinda like TPms light that’s been on in my G2 for the last 3 years.

    Cel does not flash so I know it’s ok. If the cel flashes that’s not a emissions code and means pull over now....
     
  3. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    I have an aftermarket cat from “Klarius”. Two years running, no problems whatsoever.
    No error codes, and 68.1mpg from a tank this summer - I sure ain’t complaining


    Source: iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB ? Pro
     
  4. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Mine was Amazon $129. Fit perfect. $120 to have my OEM removed and new one installed and welded up.
     
  5. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    Did you have to install a New O2 sensors to the after market cat, or did you use the old one??
     
    #85 ski.dive, Dec 18, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Getting that energized without causing a disabling ground fault code may be quite tricky.
     
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  8. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    Maybe run two wires not grounded to the car in a position that would still cause electric shock to the thief?? Or a way to make it ground but only when an alarm system is tripped? On the other hand, you may end up saving your cat and charring some thieves, but also may end up destroying your battery.
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Doing that in a way to ensure a thief contacts both at once, without otherwise causing a ground fault, will be difficult. And will likely spark only the cutting tool, not the operator.

    Remember that the designers went to great lengths to ensure that first responders extricating trapped passengers could cut nearly at will without fear of getting electrocuted. Defeating those design protections won't be easy.

    If loss of your battery protects other car owners from cat losses, then there would still be some positive community value.
     
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  10. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    The idea being that the coated wires would keep the battery grounded until a thief tries to cut out the cat. So theoretically you shouldn't get a ground fault until they try to steel the cat, at which point you'll probably need some exhaust parts welded back together anyway. Of course what kind of wire coating is there that's rated for +1000°F? And yes, it would most likely only spark at the tool, although with enough current the blade could be melted, maybe even welded to the wires themselves, making it hard to change blade and continue. Also a spark from that might be enough to scare away the thief.

    If this can be hooked up with something like the CatEye so it's only activated when the you leave the car unoccupied that would help first responders so it wouldn't be activated if you're in the car.
     
  11. caliwaves

    caliwaves Junior Member

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    If anyone is near the Austin area, I recommend 183 Muffler in Lockhart. He charges $225 for swap out/installation of a magnaflow. One heck of a nice guy and can't beat that price! And of course there's great bbq nearby
     
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  12. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    Aren't there shops that will pay you to swap out your OEM cat for an aftermarket one? Maybe the Magnaflow ones are better quality.
     
  13. caliwaves

    caliwaves Junior Member

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    I dont know. If there are, do they pay you as much as what you'd get on ebay for the OEM?
     
  14. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    I can't remember where I saw it. But I think it was like $150 or so. So they take off the OEM catalytic converter that they'll make at least $1,000 off of, put on one that's worth $150 and give you another $150. They're still making $700.

    But in the case you mentioned if they're keeping your cat and charging $225 to do it then they're making well over $1,000 to do the service. If they give you back your OEM cat at that price then it's a good deal.
     
  15. caliwaves

    caliwaves Junior Member

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    "If they give you back your OEM cat at that price then it's a good deal." Yes, it is my property and I sold it on ebay :)
     
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  16. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

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    In any sane jurisdiction you would be held criminally liable for any injury or death that resulted. Electric fences generate a higher voltage, but the current is limited.
     
  17. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Active Member

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    Ya, I know. There's a YouTube video I'm too lazy to look up of an electrician who's van was broken into several times and he lost a lot of money worth of tools each time, so he installed a high voltage zapper to deter thieves, but later had to take it off because the authorities didn't want the thieves to get hurt if they broke into his van again.

    But on a more realistic note: Preventing Catalytic Converter theft | Page 4 | PriusChat
     
  18. golfmk681

    golfmk681 Member

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  19. Pinback

    Pinback Member

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    I live and work in Los Angles County, Ca. for reference of these discussions.
    According to the mechanic I use for smog checks and other repair work, when he does a smog test and inspection on any of the following:
    • LEV – Low-emission vehicle
    • ULEV – Ultra-low-emission vehicle
    • SULEV – Super-ultra low-emission vehicle (Which includes the Gen 2 Prius )
    • LULEV - Ludicrously- Ultra Low emission vehicle (OK I just made that one up, but I bet it is around the corner)
    he has to do a visual inspection and report the numbers marked on the side of the cats. This information goes to the authorities in the DMV (I guess) data base which checks the numbers against the make, year and model to see if the cats' model number are authorized for that vehicle. I imagine that PZEVs fall into this category too but he did not specifically mention them. On less regulated vehicles all he has to do is make sure everything looks functional and not bypassed or disconnected. The number/markings that the smog inspector/technician is looking for is called an EO number which stands for Executive Order number. These are not serial numbers. I don't know if the serial numbers of the Cats (if visible on the unit) are connected to the VINs in the Ca DMV database used when smog certificates are generated. That is an interesting question since it would be an enforcement tool to limit the sale, installation and use of used, "refurbished" or stolen Cats.

    Oh and speaking of that:

    https://www.smogtips.com/Aftermarket_CAT_ARB.pdf

    Note that after July 10, 2008 the sale of used catalytic converters is prohibited in the People's Republic of California.

    So, what do EO numbers actually look like?
    http://davisconverters.com/statelaws/CALamcatlabel.pdf

    Hypothetically speaking, if you had "a guy" who is a repair facility operator who just happened to be "well connected" shall we say, to avenues of goods moving through The Great Material Continuum, (the dude could get you an outa state converter by hooks and crooks) who had another guy who was in the smog testing business and y'all came to an understanding that you would ALWAYS take your future smog certification business to the other guy.... He might just put in the "right" EO number during the inspection regardless of what Cat you actually have on the car.
    Personally, I am not that well connected and don't wanna be. But, while those activities are against the laws of man, they do not violate the laws of physics. So your compliance is, ultimately, optional.

    I would like to think that most Prius owners would not go this route. But if you are living hand to mouth, I would rather see you keep the Gen 2 Prius on the road with it's low emissions and great functionality rather than have to find a clunker.

    I bought my 2009 Prius used because it was the best maintained car I could find in my meager price range. I hope to get it to 500K unless a great deal on an EV comes along and barring accidents. And I have comprehensive insurance. But I also understand what it is like to not have that extra money and also know that if this happens, the insurance company will often total the car (often) because it is 12+ years old and maybe has a lot of miles on it. If they hand you the money, you will (probably) NOT get as nice a car in Los Angeles for what they give you.

    I park my car in my drive way as close as I can get it to the house. Once I get my racing forklift running again and moved out of the drive way I will park my Prius (the Darkstar) out of sight from the road. But at work, I am parking in a large parking structure that is lightly patrolled and filled with hybrids (yeah I still "go into work"). And cat and incense plate thieves have hit our structures time and time again.

    So what to do? I chose a "Cat Defender" that I bought off Ebay and installed myself.
    So far and it has only been 8 months or so, and I have not noticed any over heating. And I made sure my mechanic/smog tech can read the numbers on the cat during the visual inspection before finalizing the install.

    I have tried to talk other Prius owners in the neighborhood into doing something similar, but most just shrug it off.
    I just want to remove the incentive for these thieves by making the job harder/riskier for them.
    On the other hand, this may be like out running a large bear; you don't have to outrun the bear, just outrun your slowest companion. If they see the plate they will move on to an easier target since there are plenty.
    I also don't think the thieves care if it is an original OEM or after market. I suspect all they know is, "Blunt nose Prius, grab and go."

    These guys live and die (literally, as it turns out) by speed and stealth (quiet). Check this out;

    Man trying to steal catalytic converter in California crushed to death by car – KIRO 7 News Seattle

    California man crushed to death by car while allegedly trying to steal catalytic converter

    2 men killed when pickup crashed into Garden Grove pool during pursuit had lengthy criminal histories: Police | KTLA

    BTW, with a back ground in electrical engineering I considered applying a charge to the plate. But practical issues aside one thing that stopped me is that I don't want to kill any wildlife. I have a fair bit of urban wildlife in and around my home; skunks, possums, raccoons stray cats etc. I did not want any of those critters fried under my car.

    We are driving these extra clean vehicles not only for the fuel savings but also for the lowered emissions which are a public good. At least I am, and I think many others here on Prius chat are also in it for the lower emissions. Maybe we should approach the state and ask for a law that would help lower and or fixed income folks get their cats replaced if they are stolen. Maybe the Air Resources Board and some insurance companies could contribute to a fund for this purpose. I think we should do it by taxing oversized SUVs not used by a business.

    The only other alternative I see is that a third party gets a cat approved by CARB and issues an EO number. But consider the market for such parts. These are older (12-17 years old) vehicles and the part will be expensive to make so while another manufacturer could probably compete with Toyota for these parts, would it be worth it for them to do so? That's why I decided to be proactive and get the Cat Defender while I still have my original cat.

    To divert a bit into background of this situation, here is some "Interesting" reading (from 10 years ago) that shows how we got to the current regulatory state of affairs and in theory where CARB would like us to go. (rated at 2 cups of coffee if you have an RA background and 4+ for the general public)

    https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/regact/2012/leviiighg2012/levisor.pdf

    Pinback
     
  20. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Lots of good research and links in this... Please consider posting the important parts to: Prius Cat Theft Tracking | PriusChat Thanks!!!
     
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