Thieves are stealing catalytic converters from cars across Zimbabwe and they are targeting new owners and those who know little about cars. Most of the time mechanics dupe their clients into believing that the removal of the device improves the efficiency of the engines.
Catalytic converters contain valuable metals which can fetch several hundred dollars in scrap and drivers are being urged to safeguard their vehicles wherever possible. In Zimbabwe, they are being sold for $150 per kg (USD).
The device, which is rich in platinum, palladium, gold and other minerals, has a ready market in Zambia and South Africa.
Catalytic converters are a part of your car’s exhaust system and help to convert toxic gases produced by your car into something less harmful to emit out the tailpipe.
The driver may not be aware that the part has been removed or taken as cars can still run without it being present.
How will I know if a theft has occurred?
You will notice a loud rumbling sound as soon as the engine is turned on which will get louder as you put your foot on the accelerator.
One indication that the part could have been removed or stolen is if there is a ‘check engine’ warning light on your dashboard.
Always give people whom you trust your car.