How to Prevent Mazda 2 Catalytic Converter Theft

Worried about catalytic converter theft for your Mazda 2? Don’t be. While anything is possible, Mazdas are not often targeted for cat theft.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
Luckily, if you own a Mazda 2 (last sold in the U.S. in 2014), it is not at great risk of having its catalytic converter stolen. 
Catalytic converter thefts have risen sharply in the last few years—but luckily, if you drive a Mazda 2, you’re not likely to be a target. That said, if you’re really worried about protecting your
, we’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll walk you through some strategies for protecting your catalytic converter, what
car repairs
you’ll need if yours is stolen, and what kind of
car insurance
you’ll need to cover a stolen catalytic converter.

Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a Mazda 2?

Fortunately, no—it is not easy to steal a Mazda 2 catalytic converter. There are many cars and trucks on the road with more than one catalytic converter, making them extra enticing as theft targets. But the Mazda 2 has just one cat—located between the tailpipe and the intake manifolds, as part of the exhaust system—so it's not as valuable a target as some other vehicles.
Another factor limiting the likelihood of your Mazda 2’s catalytic converter being stolen is that Mazda passenger cars are low to the ground. This makes it hard for ne’er-do-wellers to slide under your car and snag your converter. A vehicle with more ground clearance, such as one of Mazda’s SUVs, could be a more likely target due to the ease of getting underneath the vehicle.
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Why are catalytic converters stolen?

Even though you probably consider yourself lucky that your Mazda 2 isn’t a target for catalytic converter thieves, cat thefts are a raging problem across the country—but why?
For one, catalytic converters are part of your car’s emission system and are made up of valuable precious metals, including platinum, rhodium, and palladium. The value of these minerals has skyrocketed over the past few years, and this is a big reason why these components are stolen so often.
Trucks and SUVs are often targeted because of their high ground clearance. That makes it easy for thieves to quickly scoot underneath, rip a converter off, and disappear. With vehicles that are lower to the ground, such quick thievery is decidedly more difficult.

Mazda catalytic converter replacement cost

According to RepairPal, it won’t be cheap to replace a stolen Mazda 2 catalytic converter—it will likely cost between $860 and $1,000. Of course, cats on other vehicles can cost far more to replace, such as on a
Toyota Tundra
truck, where the cost of replacing its catalytic converters can cost thousands of dollars
You could opt for an aftermarket replacement, which will be slightly cheaper, but catalytic converter replacement is a complicated job, so it will likely be pricy either way.

How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a Mazda 2

While it may be unlikely for your Mazda 2’s catalytic converter to be stolen, it's not impossible. So, here are a few ways to protect your car’s catalytic converter from prying thieves.

Park in a secure area

What do thieves hate more than the light of justice? Light in general, especially well-lit and secure parking areas with video surveillance, where it's harder to steal a catalytic converter on the sly
Installing motion sensor lights by your driveway is a good way to scare away a would-be thief—that is, if you don’t have a garage to park in. If you park on the street, try to leave your car under a street light.

Buy a catalytic converter shield

If you’re really concerned your Mazda 2’s catalytic converter is going to be swiped, you can always install a catalytic converter anti-theft shield. These simple devices usually consist of an aluminum cage or plate that covers your car’s catalytic converter.
If you aren’t sure where to find such a protective device, start online.
Cat Shield™
is an excellent product. On Amazon, seek out the great converter protection devices from
Cat Security™
. See what’s in stock, but be sure to check to ensure you buy the right protector for your car for proper fit.
Most catalytic converter shields are designed for easy installation, but with a vehicle with low ground clearance like the Mazda 2, this might be tough as a DIY job. You can always get a mechanic to install it for you if getting underneath your vehicle is tough for you.
With a catalytic converter shield on the underside of your car, your insurer might even give you a discount on your policy for taking the extra step to safeguard your ride.
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Put your VIN on the catalytic converter

If you are so worried your catalytic converter will be stolen, claim it by etching your VIN onto it!
This is a great deterrent—if a thief steals your converter, it can’t be sold on the black market if it's tagged and traceable. The good people at the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) often hold catalytic converter tagging events. If you can’t attend one of these etcha-paloozas, just take your car to a muffler shop to get your catalytic converter tagged with your VIN.

Invest in comprehensive insurance

Unfortunately, the knowledge that you hold
comprehensive insurance
won’t stop a thief from going after your catalytic converter. But even if that cat is stolen, your coverage will allow you to submit a claim to cover the cost of replacing it, as theft is usually covered under this policy.

What to do if your Mazda 2’s catalytic converter is stolen

If a thief has managed to steal your Mazda 2’s catalytic converter, the first thing to do is call the authorities. Depending on where the crime occurred, police may be able to use security footage to help nab the person who burgled your catalytic converter.
Even if the police can’t find the bad guy, they’ll write a police report, which will be helpful to your insurance company when processing your claim. So long as you carry comprehensive insurance, filing a claim is a very good idea, as catalytic converter replacement costs can get expensive.
Once your claim has been processed, your insurer will get in touch with a mechanic for the replacement. Replacement parts will be covered, though you’ll have to pay your policy’s deductible before your insurer will pay for the rest of the work.
If you don’t hold comprehensive coverage, you’ll have to foot the catalytic converter replacement cost out of your own pocket. Bummer.

Can you drive a Mazda 2 without a catalytic converter?

You can, but it's not advised—your catalytic converter is a vital piece of your car’s emissions system. It’s also very possible that without a catalytic converter, your Mazda 2 won’t pass an emissions test. A lack of a catalytic converter can also impede your car’s acceleration, increase road noise, and release harmful toxins into the environment.

The bottom line

While it's safe to drive a car without a catalytic converter, don’t do this for long. Not only will you release plenty of toxic gasses into the environment, but your car won’t pass an emissions test without a catalytic converter.
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