YouTubers try to protect their catalytic converters

Originally published at: YouTubers try to protect their catalytic converters | Boing Boing


I understand these thieves use portable angle grinders.
I struggle to see how some wire rope / aircraft cable will help, other than to slow down the process by a few seconds.
edit - did not watch whole video so maybe this is covered.


Totally this - the converter itself is way harder to cut. One of my favorite recent tools is a cheap angle grinder and a diamond blade. I’ve yet to find a random metal thing in my house/yard that I haven’t been able to cut with it.


Time to get an EV folks!

(Yes, I understand that is not an option for many many people)


They covered this in the video. They first used a sawzall to test cutting through 3 different products. The steel cables used in one of them just vibrate along with the reciprocating saw blade which renders it ineffective. They then used an angle grinder to cut through the cables but the way the product is designed it’s attached in half a dozen or more points to the frame which means a thief has to cut each one which takes a lot of extra time.

They conclude the video with the point that a simple welded cage made of rebar or an aftermarket steel plate is the best protection.


but I solve the problem by driving old cars

Oh No What GIF by Identity


Converter theft is big in RV storage lots because you don’t even need to jack it up. I got an email at the beginning of the year letting me know quite few got stolen from the place we store our RV. Thankfully ours was spared.

RV forums are riddled with all kinds of homemade ideas and photos of all sorts of things they use.

Just yesterday I had to do an emergency repair of a muffler because a couple hangers broke. Stainless steel wire rope and cable clamps to the rescue. I used an angle grinder under the vehicle to trim the cable when I was done. Cut it like butter in seconds.

A thief will just cut through all that nonsense or cut further back on the pipe or bust your car window out because their pissed that you tried to stop them.

I have insurance, I don’t care. I mean I care but not enough to do some of the wacky stuff fellow RVers do.

A lot of RVers get a hold of a test pipe and swap out the converter for the pipe when it’s in storage. That’s way too much effort. It’s a hassle if it gets stolen but it’s just one muffler shop away from getting replaced.


Lock up your charging cable. EVs are targeted here for those.


When you and your friends are running from a bear, you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than your friends.


Those loose cables on the underside of the car seem perfect for increasing the rattling sound from poorly installed subwoofers. They would probably collect roadkill too.


I’m surprised they do that given that the cables lock to the car when charging. They’re not exactly easy to rip out, nor are they likely to work anymore if you mangle the connector. That’s aside from the whole many many amps running through it thing.


I think they steal the lower-level charging cables that come with the car and sit in the boot. For charging on a 20A circuit or whatever. Heavy and expensive cable to try and keep thermal loss down, etc. Don’t want some paperclip melting.


This has happened to the 4WD trucks we use to drive to the telescope at work. Today’s charming new vehicle board message is “cat converter cage rattling”.
I also drive old cars. Plusses: no emissions test required, and the wiring diagram fits on one page!


They don’t need the cables to work, they’re steeling them for the copper and it don’t seem all that dangerous to cut the wire or all that difficult.


The whole thing makes me insane somebody’s buying all these cat converters.

What you just walk in twice a week with 20 of these things and the guy on the other side of the counter says “yup there you go”


If the chargepoint cables arent connected there isnt high current running through them. When they are connected to a vehicle that is charging there is substantial (lethal) current running through them.

@jlw was referring to the portable cable that comes with EVs for connecting to a 20A service. Still dangerous to cut though.

ETA: ninja post there

Gotta be quick around here!

I typically tweak posts for a minute or two after posting to clean up grammar and tpyos. Not quick enough!


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The whole point is to not make it worth the thieve’s time. Sure a determined thief could eventually get at the converter, but why go to all that effort when they can move on to a less protected vehicle?