Auto Repair

What Metals Are Catalytic Converters Made From?

If you know the metals from which catalytic converters are made, you will understand why they get stolen all the time. Empire Auto Care advises that catalytic converters are made from palladium, platinum, and rhodium, all three of which are considered precious metals. If you do a lot of public parking, do your best to find secured lots. This helps to prevent the catalytic converter from being taken from underneath your vehicle. Here are signs that this has happened.

A Ton of Engine Noise

Unfortunately, your engine is going to make a ton of noise when you fire up the automobile after the converter theft. The catalytic converter is not a muffler, but it muffles the sound the exhaust manifold makes when it pushes the exhaust into the converter. This is a loud and roaring noise that will no longer be muffled because the converter is gone.

Check Engine Warning

Aside from the engine noise, you will also see that the check engine light has not turned off like it normally does after you start your engine. This is because the exhaust system is malfunctioning without the catalytic converter. Consequently, the excess noise and CEL make it pretty clear that you are the victim of catalytic converter theft. Cut the engine and call the authorities.

Lurching Acceleration

We are going to discuss how your vehicle will perform without the catalytic converter even though we recommend that you have your automobile towed to our shop. Should you decide to drive your vehicle, you will notice that when you press down on the accelerator, the automobile lurches forward. This is because the converter is not absorbing the forceful push by the exhaust manifold.


You are also going to have trouble driving slowly because the engine will have problems producing the lower end of the torque. This end of the torque is the power that is produced when you are driving slowly on city streets. The missing catalytic converter affects this torque production. You will notice that the engine performance smooths out when you pick up speed.

The Smell of Exhaust

Now, again, we recommend that you have your automobile towed rather than driving it. The reason why is that the passenger cabin can fill with the exhaust that would normally be released into the catalytic converter. Consequently, this can make you seriously ill.

Call Empire Auto Care in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, today to set up a service visit if you have been the unfortunate victim of catalytic converter theft.

Photo by deepblue4you from Getty Images via Canva Pro