How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft in a Hyundai Kona

Because the Hyundai Kona's catalytic converter isn't easily accessible, parking in a secure area should deter most thieves.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Brenna Swanston
Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise; thankfully, the
Hyundai Kona
’s parts aren't easy to access. Park in a secure area to deny thieves an easy target.
Let's begin by putting your mind at ease: the Hyundai Kona is a new model and not often
targeted by catalytic converter thieves
. Most criminals seek older models with high ground clearance, such as the
Ford F-150
,
Honda Accord
, and
Jeep Patriot
. Still, cat cons are as expensive to replace as they are tempting to steal, so you can't be too careful.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to prevent catalytic converter theft in a Hyundai Kona. You'll learn what a converter is, how easy it is to steal, and how to deter thieves. After you're done, you can leave your parked car with complete peace of mind!
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What’s a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system of your car. It converts hazardous fumes and byproducts created by your engine into relatively less-harmful exhaust. Since their invention in the ‘70s, catalytic converters have become vital for improving air quality across the country.
How do they do it? With the help of trace amounts of precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium

Why are catalytic converters stolen?

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the price of precious metals used in your Kona's catalytic converter is skyrocketing. As a result of the price hike,
catalytic converter thefts have also increased exponentially
. Currently, scrapping a catalytic converter can get you: 
  • $1,026 per ounce of platinum
  • $1,850 per ounce of palladium 
  • $12,700 per ounce of rhodium
Your Kona's catalytic converter contains less than an ounce of each mineral, but scrappers will still pay $300 to $1,500 for a used one. And although prices have recently fallen, you shouldn't expect them to stay low. Instead, you should know where your car's catalytic converter is located and how to protect it.

Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a Hyundai Kona? 

A Hyundai Kona’s catalytic converter isn’t easy to steal, no matter the trim or year.
The Hyundai Kona's catalytic converter is located under the hood and connected to the engine through an integrated manifold. A thief would have to open the hood, move a few parts aside, and loosen more than a few bolts to get at it. Since the Kona's hood release lever is located inside the car, few thieves will bother with it.
You can relax if you own an electric Kona. Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric vehicles such as the Hyundai Kona EV don’t emit toxic emissions and
don’t have catalytic converters
. They also have lower fuel prices, making them an excellent buy even if they’re
more expensive to insure
.

Top Hyundai Kona years that catalytic converter thieves target

The Hyundai Kona is still in its first generation. Because Hyundai has yet to adjust the location of its catalytic converter, the question of which model years suffer the most theft is moot. But we’d like to point out that the models with the highest number of thefts—the 1985-2021
Ford F-Series
and 2001-2021
Toyota Prius
—keep their cat cons on their undersides rather than inside their engine compartments.
Key Takeaway The Hyundai Kona’s catalytic converter is neither easy to access nor easy to steal. The Kona EV doesn’t have a cat con and isn’t a target for thieves.

How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a Hyundai Kona

The biggest threat to your Hyundai Kona's catalytic converter is a parking location that gives a thief enough time to steal it. You can reduce your chances of suffering a burglary if you surround your parked car with plenty of light, security, and foot traffic. Here’s what to look for:

Pick a secure parking spot

The best parking spot is inside a locked parking garage. Not only will a would-be thief have to contend with your vehicle, but they’ll also have to make it past security. Video surveillance, lots of lights, and keycard access are all great anti-theft measures. Sure, it can be hard to find affordable garage or airport parking spots, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind!

Pick a visible parking spot

Easier said than done, but if you’re looking for a parking spot in a city, it’s best to pick one with good visibility. Scoot underneath a streetlamp or close to a busy street. You’re more likely to catch someone trying to tamper with your car the more light—and eyes—you have on it.
If you have a private laneway, install a floodlight like this
Outdoor Reflector Security light
. Its motion sensors save energy, extend the battery life, and give ne'er-do-wells a scare once activated. Best of all, they're solar-powered!

Put your VIN on your catalytic converter

If a thief lifts the hood of your Hyundai Kona and sees an engraved VIN on its catalytic converter, chances are they'll scram! The number proves the part was stolen. It’ll be difficult to sell, dangerous to store, and ultimately unprofitable to steal.
Check with your local police department to see if the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is planning to hold a
catalytic converter etching event
near you. You can also make VIN-etching part of your next trip to a muffler shop.
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Invest in comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive car insurance
won't lower the risk of your Hyundai Kona's catalytic converter being stolen, but it’ll make it easier to replace. After discovering the theft, you only need
to file a car insurance claim
to cover the cost of replacing your cat con. And when you find out how much it costs, you'll be glad you did!

What to do if your Hyundai Kona’s catalytic converter is stolen

The first thing you should do if you find your catalytic converter missing is to contact the police. They'll work on finding the culprit and file a police report for you, which you can submit to your insurance company. Assuming you have the right coverage, your provider will help you schedule an appointment at a local garage for repairs.

How much does it cost to replace a Hyundai Kona catalytic converter?

An OEM
Hyundai Kona catalytic converter with an integrated manifold
costs $2,225. As handy as its location may be for deterring thieves, it also contributes to time and labor. Be patient, even if it feels like your
mechanic is taking too long with car repairs
.
Regardless of who does the repair, or how much it costs, you need to get a replacement. Driving without a catalytic converter isn’t a good idea.

Can you drive a Hyundai Kona without a catalytic converter?

A catalytic converter neutralizes your engine’s most dangerous byproducts; driving without one isn’t good for you, your car, or the planet.
For one thing, your fuel mileage will suffer. You could damage your car further if any loosened parts rattle around. If your exhaust becomes too backed up, you could even experience a loss of power. All these issues—and their associated costs—more than outweigh the price of the
average tow
. If you discover your catalytic converter’s missing, call for a tow.
And try to get it repaired before you have your next car inspection.
MORE: How to pass emissions testing
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