How to Prevent Mitsubishi Outlander Catalytic Converter Theft

If you’re worried about catalytic converter theft for your Mitsubishi Outlander, there are a few things you should know—and we’ll cover them here.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Brittni Brinn
Mitsubishi Outlanders are becoming more popular targets for catalytic converter thieves lately, so it’s important to up your safety game. Parking in safe spots, adding anti-theft devices, and etching your VIN onto the part can all go a long way in deterring thieves.
Whether you’re concerned about your Mitsubishi’s catalytic converter or you’ve already been the unfortunate victim of a theft, we can help. If you keep reading, you’ll learn which Outlander models are at risk, how to prevent theft, what to do if yours gets taken, and what kind of
car insurance
you need to cover the aftermath. 
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Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a Mitsubishi Outlander? 

Well…yes. Since the Outlander’s two catalytic converters are situated in the traditional spot beneath the car between the engine and the muffler, it’s easy for thieves to grab them and run. It certainly helps that they don’t need a jack to get under the car, either. 
That’s why other crossovers and SUVs like the
Honda CR-V
and the
Toyota 4Runner
are also popular targets for catalytic converter thieves. Other big targets for theft include full-size pickup trucks like the
Ford F-Series
and the
Chevy Silverado
as well as luxury vehicles and hybrid cars. 

Top Mitsubishi Outlander years that catalytic converter thieves target

Speaking of hybrids, the Mitsubishi Outlander models most at-risk for catalytic converter thefts are any of the Outlander hybrid models—both conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrids. That means any Outlander since 2013 is likely to be targeted if it has a hybrid powertrain.
Why? Hybrid catalytic converters use a higher concentration of valuable precious metals, so they’re worth more money. 

Why are Mitsubishi Outlander catalytic converters stolen?

Catalytic converters function to filter out toxic fumes from your exhaust and turn them into less harmful emissions. To do this, they use precious metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium that catalyze the process. In the last several years, the value of these materials has increased significantly—leading to higher rates of catalytic converter theft. 
As of December 2022, here’s how much each of those metals in your catalytic converter is worth: 
  • Platinum: $989 per ounce 
  • Palladium: $1,630 per ounce 
  • Rhodium: $12,018 per ounce 
These numbers have decreased throughout the span of the year, but they’re still enough to make catalytic converters a hot commodity. 
Another reason Mitsubishi Outlander catalytic converters are so alluring to thieves? They’re pretty easy to steal. With a ground clearance of 8.3 inches, thieves don’t need jacks to access your catalytic converter—they just need to slide underneath your parked Outlander, snip the pipes, and run off with your part. 

Mitsubishi Outlander catalytic converter replacement cost

The biggest reason catalytic converter theft is such an issue is because of the cost of replacing one. On average, it’ll cost you between $1,500 and $1,600 to replace a catalytic converter on a Mitsubishi Outlander—but that’s just an estimate. 
The cost you pay will depend on labor costs in your area and how damaged the thief left your undercarriage. However, you may be able to save a few bucks by opting for an aftermarket catalytic converter. 
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How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a Mitsubishi Outlander

As catalytic converter thefts for Mitsubishi Outlanders increase, you’ll want to boost your anti-theft strategies to help protect your vehicle. Here are a few ways to do it.

Park in a safe area

The first line of defense is making your car inaccessible to thieves, so parking in a secure garage is the best option. If you don’t have a garage, making sure you’re parked in a well-lit area is the next best thing—especially if there’s video surveillance. 
Motion sensor lights in your driveway could be a great investment, too. Thieves are much less likely to go after your car if there’s a chance they’ll be seen.  

Buy a catalytic converter shield

Installing an anti-theft device like a catalytic converter anti-theft shield or cage can add extra protection to your Outlander. You can find solid options online from retailers like
Amazon
, and they’re generally designed for easy installation. Just be sure you double-check the fitment works with your specific model!
Another benefit of adding an anti-theft device? Your insurance company may give you a discount on your comprehensive insurance!

Put your VIN on the catalytic converter

Etching your VIN or tagging your catalytic converter could also deter thieves since these parts are much easier to trace if the part is reported stolen. 
Local police stations, muffler shops, and catalytic converter etching events held by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are all great places to get this done. 

Invest in comprehensive insurance

While this tip won’t actually reduce the risk of your catalytic converter getting stolen, it’ll certainly protect your budget if it does happen. 
Having
comprehensive insurance
means if your Outlander cat gets stolen, you can file a claim for the theft with your insurance company, and they’ll cover the cost of replacement. Without this coverage, you’ll have to pay for the replacement yourself—putting you out nearly two grand. 

What to do if your Mitsubishi Outlander’s catalytic converter is stolen

Having your catalytic converter stolen isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it’s far from convenient. If you’ve realized the worst has happened and your Mitsubishi Outlander has been targeted, you’ll want to first contact the police. Depending on the location, they might be able to use video surveillance to track down the perpetrator. 
Even if they’re unlucky in their search, they can still file a police report, which you’ll need for the next step: getting in touch with your insurance company. If you’re covered with comprehensive coverage, you’ll be able to file the claim and start the repair process. 
At this point, you and your insurance company will work together to schedule repairs and get the payment figured out. You’ll be required to pay your deductible, then your insurance steps in to cover the rest of the cost. 
If you aren’t covered with comprehensive insurance, you’ll have to pay for the replacement out of pocket—which won’t be a pretty repair bill. Searching for a mechanic that will use an aftermarket converter could lower your costs, though. 

Can you drive a Mitsubishi Outlander without a catalytic converter?

If both of your Outlander's catalytic converters have been stolen, don’t fret. You can technically drive your car without them for a while, but it’s not a sustainable solution—in more ways than one.
First of all, it is illegal to drive without a catalytic converter in most states. If you’re caught driving without a cat installed, you could face fines and other penalties.
You’ll also notice some really annoying road noises when you’re driving, and you’ll likely experience rough acceleration. That’s not the worst part, though. Since catalytic converters are essential to your exhaust system, you won’t be able to pass emissions testing without one—if you don’t have a catalytic converter, you’ll be pumping toxic gasses into the environment.
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