How to Prevent Lexus UX Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converter theft is extremely common for Lexus SUVs like the UX, but there are a few preventative measures you can take to protect your car.
Written by Liz Jenson
Reviewed by Brenna Swanston
Lexus UX
is certainly a target for catalytic converter theft, and due to the precious metals found inside, replacement cats are extremely expensive.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to discourage and/or prevent catalytic converter theft. To keep your car safe, let’s take a look at why catalytic converter theft happens, how you can protect your car from thieves, and what type of
car insurance
you need to cover the cost of a replacement. 

Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a Lexus UX? 

Unfortunately, it is pretty easy to steal the catalytic converter from most Lexus models, including the UX.
Lexus catalytic converters are located on the underside of the vehicle, meaning all a potential thief needs to do is slide underneath your car and find the proper part. Since some UX models are also hybrid cars, which have more precious metals in their catalytic converters than gas-powered vehicles, the Lexus UX is targeted more often than most other vehicles.

Top Lexus UX years that catalytic converter thieves target

Any Lexus UX model year is a potential target for catalytic converter theft. No one model year is targeted more frequently than another.
However, thieves may target older models since their security features are less advanced. Additionally, vehicles parked in less visible places are easier to target than those parked in plain sight.
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Why are Lexus UX catalytic converters stolen?

Catalytic converters are packed with precious metals, making them very valuable for resale. The main metals found in a catalytic converter are:
  • Platinum: $1,128 per ounce 
  • Palladium: $2,938 per ounce 
  • Rhodium: $20,000 per ounce 
While there are only very small amounts of each metal found in one catalytic converter, these parts are also very easy to steal. Since catalytic converters can be found underneath your car, they can easily be removed without ever unlocking or disturbing the rest of your vehicle.

Lexus catalytic converter replacement cost

Replacing the catalytic converter in a Lexus UX typically costs between $1,300 and $1,500, depending on a few different factors. 
Most of that cost goes to parts, not labor, so if you want a cheaper option, your best bet is to buy aftermarket parts. However, since catalytic converters are such expensive parts, it can still cost you quite a bit to replace one.

How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a Lexus UX

Worried about your Lexus? Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your car’s catalytic converter from would-be thieves.

Park in a secure area

If possible, keep your car in a gated parking garage with lights and 24-hour video surveillance. If this option isn’t available to you, you could also invest in motion-activated lights for your driveway.
If you have to park on the street, try to stick to well-lit, highly populated areas when you can. The more visible your car is, the less of a target it will be for potential catalytic converter thieves.

Buy a catalytic converter shield

Catalytic converter shields are simple anti-theft devices designed to protect your catalytic converter. All you’ll need to do is attach the plate or cage, typically aluminum, around your catalytic converter to keep it protected.
Installing your own catalytic converter shield is pretty easy, so this is definitely a project you can tackle on your own, but you can also hire someone to attach this anti-theft device for you if you prefer.
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Put your VIN on the catalytic converter

If you etch your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into your catalytic converter, thieves won’t be able to sell it on the black market
The hope is that a would-be criminal sees your car’s VIN on your converter before attempting to steal it and move on to the next car. While this certainly isn’t a foolproof method for catalytic converter protection, it could help discourage potential thieves!

Invest in comprehensive insurance

While purchasing
comprehensive insurance
coverage won’t protect you from catalytic converter theft, it protects your wallet if your cat is stolen
Without this type of coverage, you won’t be able to submit a claim for reimbursement when you replace your catalytic converter, meaning you could be stuck with an out-of-pocket bill of close to $2,000. By purchasing comprehensive insurance, you’ll be prepared for the worst before it even happens.

What to do if your Lexus UX’s catalytic converter is stolen

If you realize that you’ve become the victim of a catalytic converter theft, the first thing you should do is contact the local authorities. This is helpful for two reasons:
  1. The police may have the jurisdiction to pull footage from nearby security cameras and catch the culprit.
  2. You’ll need a police report to file a claim with your insurance company.
After you’ve talked to the police, it’s time to contact your insurer. You’ll discuss your options, including whether or not the replacement part is covered under your policy. Then, you’ll schedule repairs with a mechanic.
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, you’ll just need to meet your deductible to get your car fixed. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, however, you’ll need to pay for all of the repairs out-of-pocket.

Can you drive a Lexus UX without a catalytic converter?

While it is possible to drive a Lexus UX without a catalytic converter, it’s not a good (or practical) idea.
Driving without a catalytic converter means your vehicle won’t pass emissions testing since your exhaust is unfiltered. If your city or state requires you to pass emissions tests to drive, your car will be out of commission until the issue is fixed.
You might notice other consequences too, like increased road noise, poor fuel economy, and rough acceleration. In short, it’s best for you and your car if your catalytic converter is replaced right away.
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