2020 Toyota RAV4 Catalytic Converter Anti-Theft Tips

Keep your 2020 Toyota RAV4’s catalytic converter safe with these tips!
Written by Amber Reed
Reviewed by Alita Dark
There are several kinds of anti-theft devices you can purchase to keep your 2020 Toyota RAV4’s catalytic converter safe, like shields, clamps, and cages. As well, there are behaviors you can adopt, like parking securely and etching in your VIN.
Unfortunately, catalytic converter theft is something everyone needs to be aware of these days. But owners of larger and/or hybrid vehicles need to be particularly vigilant, as these kinds of vehicles are popular targets for catalytic converter thieves. 
If you have a 2020 Toyota RAV4, keep reading for everything you need to know about how to keep your catalytic converter safe. We’ll cover just how common these thefts are, some options for anti-theft devices, and what kind of
car insurance
coverage you need to be protected in the event of a theft. 
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Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a 2020 Toyota RAV4? 

Yes, the Toyota RAV4’s converter is easy to steal. The same higher
ground clearance
that makes the RAV4 good for some light adventuring also means that it’s easier for thieves to quickly scootch underneath it and steal the catalytic converter. 
Though the RAV4’s larger cousins, like the
Toyota Sequoia
Toyota 4Runner
, present easier targets, it doesn’t mean the RAV4 is exempt. In general, large full-size trucks and SUVs, like the
Ford F-150
, are the most frequently targeted vehicles, but the midsize
Honda Accord
sedan is also a popular target. 
The sad truth? While some vehicles are certainly easier to steal catalytic converters from than others, the only ones not at risk are the vehicles that don’t have them. 

Why are 2020 Toyota RAV4 catalytic converters stolen?

What exactly is it that makes these parts so valuable to thieves, anyway? Catalytic converters are an important part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, and since 1975, they have been required in the US on all vehicles with internal combustion engines. 
Before a vehicle’s exhaust leaves the tailpipe, it gets filtered through the catalytic converter—which reduces harmful emissions. It does this via a honeycomb-like system of precious metals—including platinum, palladium, and rhodium. Depending on how the market is fluctuating, these metals can be worth anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars an ounce. 
Though there’s nowhere near an ounce of these in any one catalytic converter, a thief who can pinch a dozen or so overnight stands to make a tidy, if highly unscrupulous, profit. 
To make matters worse, not only are they valuable—catalytic converters are very easy to access on most vehicles. Combine these two factors with recent economical challenges and you’ve got a recipe for…wait for it…CATastrophe.  

2020 Toyota RAV4 catalytic converter replacement cost

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of needing to get a new catalytic converter for your 2020 Toyota RAV4, it’s unfortunately not going to be cheap. In general, a new catalytic converter for a 2020 RAV4 runs around $1,300. And while most vehicles only have one cat, the RAV4 has two

How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a 2020 Toyota RAV4

The bottom line? It’s worth the effort to take steps to protect yourself from catalytic converter theft! Here are a few solid tips on how to do it:

Park in a well-lit, secure area

If possible, the best place to park your RAV4 is in a secured garage. But if that isn’t possible, then at least choose a well-lit area. If there are security cameras, so much the better. If you park your car in your driveway, motion-triggered lights are a smart idea.  

Install an anti-theft catalytic converter shield or device

An anti-theft shield is an elegant and fairly easy solution, and
makes ones designed for many Toyota models. It sounds like just what it is—a heavy-duty metal shield that protects your catalytic converter from thieves but still leaves the parts that need to be checked for an emissions test visible. 
There is some variation in suitability between engine types and trim levels, so be sure to verify that you’re getting the correct one. If the shield isn’t an option for you, there are also devices like the
® or
™ that securely attach your catalytic converter to your chassis and make it next to impossible to steal. 

Etch your VIN on the catalytic converter

Another easy deterrent is to etch your VIN onto your catalytic converter. Having your VIN on your cat makes it more difficult to sell on the black market, and therefore, a thief may be likely to skip yours in favor of one that’s easier to fence. Law enforcement agencies will often have VIN-etching events, and most muffler shops should be able to do it for you as well.

Invest in comprehensive insurance

This one isn’t a deterrent, but it helps take some of the expense and aggravation out of getting your catalytic converter stolen. If you have
comprehensive insurance
, then you can choose to submit a claim to help cover the cost of replacing your stolen cat. 

What to do if your 2020 Toyota RAV4’s catalytic converter is stolen

First, you’ll want to contact local law enforcement right away. Even though they might not be able to do much, it’s still important to file a police report.
If you have comprehensive insurance, your next step is to contact your insurance company to file a claim. You’ll need your police report number for this, so don’t forget to write it down! After you pay your deductible, your insurance company assists you with the replacement process. No comprehensive insurance? Then, unfortunately, all the costs and legwork are on you.
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Can you drive a 2020 Toyota RAV4 without a catalytic converter?

Technically, yes—but driving without a catalytic converter is a bad idea, and depending on where you live, it could also be against the law. 
Your RAV4 will still run without a catalytic converter, but it’s by no means a long-term solution. In addition to being much more of a polluter, your RAV4 will also be louder, less efficient, and have a rougher drive. There’s also no way that you’ll be able to pass
Check the laws in your area to see if you’re even permitted to drive without a catalytic converter, as some states and cities have laws against it. 
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Yes! And not just a catalytic converter—the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has two of them. Which means less pollution but, unfortunately, more potential for theft.
If you catch someone in the act of stealing your RAV4’s catalytic converter, call the police immediately. Being discovered and/or hearing some noise is enough to cause most thieves to take off. No matter how mad you may be (and rightly so), it’s never wise to directly confront someone who is attempting to steal your catalytic converter.
Even though it’s an important part, you may not notice that it’s missing right away! Indications of a missing catalytic converter are increased exhaust or exhaust smells and a ride that is louder and rougher. And of course, if you see loose parts under your RAV4—red flag!
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