2017 Ford Escape Catalytic Converter Location

In a 2017 Ford Escape, the catalytic converter is located on the underside of the vehicle—so you’ll need to take some precautions against theft.
Written by Meaghan Branham
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2017 Ford Escape’s catalytic converter is located underneath the SUV between the exhaust manifolds and the muffler and is a vital part of the exhaust system.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the theft of catalytic converters skyrocketed between 2018 and 2021, going from 1,300 thefts to 52,000. Thieves target this part because of the increased value of the metals used to build a catalytic converter. While your
car insurance
may cover a stolen catalytic converter, knowing how to avoid theft from your Ford Escape can save you stress.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about your Escape’s catalytic converter (and how to keep it safe!).

Where is the catalytic converter on a 2017 Ford Escape? 

On a 2017 Ford Escape, the catalytic converter is located on the underside of the vehicle as part of the exhaust system. It’s situated between the muffler and the exhaust manifolds.
While this is a pretty common placement for a catalytic converter, it isn’t great news if you’re hoping to lower your chances of the catalytic converter being stolen. Since it isn’t enclosed or hidden, thieves who want to snag one can go under the vehicle and use a reciprocating saw to cut it out.
Ford vehicles are also pretty likely to be the target for catalytic converter theft. A 2022 Carfax report found that the
Ford F-Series
, for instance, is one of the vehicles most likely to get their catalytic converter stolen. 

What are the benefits of a catalytic converter on a 2017 Ford Escape?

So what’s with the sudden and sharp increase in catalytic converter theft? Well, it has less to do with their function and more to do with their composition—but let’s take a look at both.
A Ford catalytic converter works to convert dangerous exhaust gasses into less harmful elements. It does this by filtering out harmful exhaust byproducts and then burning them up. If you don’t have a catalytic converter, your Ford Escape will not meet EPA standards and your engine won’t operate at peak performance. You’ll also notice a louder engine and uneven acceleration.
Thieves are looking for the mix of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium that work to convert these fumes. These precious metals make the catalytic converter a hot commodity—replacing the one on your Ford Escape could cost you upwards of $1,500.
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How to protect the catalytic converter on your Ford Escape 

If you’re the owner of a 2017 Ford Escape, you might be panicking right about now. Don’t worry! There are steps you can take to mitigate your risk of having your converter stolen.
While it's true that their location underneath the car and right between the exhaust manifold and the muffler makes them easier to steal than those located in, say, the engine bay, it doesn’t necessarily mean that yours will be taken. Here’s what you can do to lower your risk:
  • Invest in an anti-theft device. Your 2017 Ford Escape comes equipped with an anti-theft system for your SUV, but did you know you can find anti-theft devices specifically for your catalytic converter? Inventions like the
    and the
    add an extra layer of protection. 
  • Park in a secure garage or well-lit area. To give you some peace of mind if you’re leaving your car for a long period, try finding a garage with security or park in a busy area with lots of light. 
  • Mark your catalytic converter with your VIN. This won’t necessarily be enough to stop the theft, but marking your converter with your
    Ford VIN
    will make it easier to track and more difficult to sell.
You can also opt for an insurance policy that includes
comprehensive coverage
, which should cover a stolen catalytic converter. Basic, liability-only plans won’t allow you to file a claim for a catalytic converter and you’ll be on the hook for the replacement cost.

What to do if your catalytic converter is stolen

If your catalytic converter has been stolen from your 2017 Ford Escape, there are steps you can take:
  • Document the theft: Take pictures of the missing exhaust pipe and converter, and see if there were any witnesses.
  • File a police report: Call the police and file an official report of the theft. 
  • Submit an insurance claim: You can only do this if you have comprehensive insurance, but filing a claim may help you avoid paying for your new converter out of pocket. 
  • Consider an aftermarket catalytic converter: This will likely be the most affordable option. 
  • Install anti-theft devices: Take additional measures to avoid having your converter stolen again. 

When to replace the catalytic converter on a 2017 Ford Escape

If you have a 2017 Ford Escape, the good news is you likely won’t have to replace yours for a few more years. A catalytic converter will typically be good for around 10 years, but will eventually need replacing. If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to swap yours out:
  • Unsteady or irregular acceleration 
  • Sluggish engine 
  • Underside of vehicle overheating 
  • Failed smog or emissions test
  • Illuminated
    check engine light
To check your catalytic converter, you can use an onboard diagnostics (OBD) scanner or bring your car to your Ford dealership or mechanic to have a diagnostic run.
In some cases, you may only need to replace part of the catalytic converter—but if you do have to replace the entire component, it’s likely to cost you between $950 and $2500 after labor.
All 2017 Ford models come with an emissions warranty good for eight years or 80,000 miles—whichever comes first. If you begin having problems with your catalytic converter within that window, the manufacturer may be able to cover the cost. Outside of this warranty, you can file a claim with your comprehensive coverage for a replacement. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be stuck paying out of pocket.

How to replace a catalytic converter

Our advice for replacing your 2017 Ford Escape catalytic converter? Unless you’re a professional or under the guidance of one, you’re best off going to a mechanic for the job. This is a complicated process that requires specific tools like a pipe cutter, pipe expanders, and more. To avoid the risk of a more costly mistake, an auto shop is your best bet. 
If you’re comfortable replacing yours, though, be sure to look up your part number to find an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)-grade part. An aftermarket part can reduce your risk of theft, but you’ll still want something that is a right fit for your year, make, and model.
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