Toyota Tacoma Catalytic Converter Location

The Toyota Tacoma catalytic converter is located between the tailpipe and intake manifolds but the exact location will depend on the model year.
Written by Talullah Blanco
The 2022 Toyota Tacoma catalytic converter is located inside the engine bay to deter thieves, but pre-2016 models have theirs under the truck.
Catalytic converter thefts sky-rocketed in 2021, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and they’ve only increased since. In order to protect the catalytic converter in your vehicle, you’ll need to know where it is. 
In this catalytic converter
car repair
guide for Toyota Tacoma owners, we’ll cover the advantages of having a catalytic converter, tips to protect yours, and when to replace it. 
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Where is the catalytic converter on a Toyota Tacoma? 

There’s good news for third-generation Tacoma owners: the catalytic converter is securely mounted inside the engine bay in Tacoma models from 2016 and later. This location makes it much harder for potential thieves to access the catalytic converter and steal them. 
The bad news is that older Tacoma owners aren’t so lucky and are at much greater risk for theft with its catalytic converter located underneath the truck in the mid-pipe assembly between the tailpipe and engine intake manifolds

What are the benefits of a catalytic converter on a Toyota Tacoma?

A crucial component of your Toyota Tacoma’s exhaust system, the catalytic converter is an emission control device that burns off residual toxic exhaust gases such as hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide to convert them into less harmful pollutants. Your Tacoma won’t be able to meet federal emission regulations without a catalytic converter, not to mention, your engine performance will be significantly impacted too. 
But the component's ability to control emissions isn’t what makes the catalytic converter such a hot commodity among thieves, it’s what they're made of that makes them so prone to theft. The catalyst in the converter is composed of valuable precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. That’s why catalytic converters are targeted and a replacement part could cost you up to $1,121 on a Toyota Tacoma. 

How to protect the catalytic converter on your Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacomas are among the
most targeted vehicles by catalytic converter thieves
along with the
because they sit high above the ground and come equipped with a more valuable catalytic converter i.e. a bigger payday for thieves. 
If you own an older Tacoma, there are a few things you can do to protect your valuable catalytic converter from theft including:
  • Get an anti-theft device. Aftermarket anti-theft devices like the
    and the
    are popular choices among vehicle owners, but you can also install alarm systems, security shields, or cages as deterrents.
  • Find a safe parking space for your Tacoma. If you can’t park your Tacoma in a garage or driveway, park under a motion sensor flood lamp or in a well-lit parking area to deter catalytic converter theft. 
  • Put your VIN number or license plate number on the catalytic converter. You can engrave your license or VIN number into your catalytic converter, making it more difficult to sell at an aftermarket parts dealer and easier to track if it is sold.
Another great way to protect yourself from catalytic theft is to make sure you have a car insurance policy with
comprehensive coverage
which will cover the high replacement costs if yours is stolen.

What to do if your catalytic converter is stolen

Worst comes to worst and your catalytic converter is stolen from your Tacoma, here’s what you need to do:
  • Take pictures of your exhaust pipe and the missing catalytic converter to document the theft.
  • Contact your local authorities and file a police report.
  • If you have comprehensive coverage, submit an insurance claim with your carrier.
  • Think about installing an aftermarket catalytic converter to reduce replacement costs and lower the risk of future theft.
  • Get an anti-theft device to deter thieves.

When to replace the catalytic converter on a Toyota Tacoma

Catalytic converters typically last about 10 years—but they’ll wear out eventually just like any other vehicle component. Keep an eye out for the following signs of a bad catalytic converter:
  • Decreased acceleration and lackluster performance
  • Foul-smelling exhaust smoke (think rotten eggs) that is dark
  • The undercarriage of your Tacoma is overheating
  • A failed smog check
  • Lit check engine light
You can use an onboard diagnostics (OBD) scanner to detect any exhaust system failures or bring your vehicle to a mechanic for a professional diagnosis when you notice the symptoms of a bad catalytic converter. 
If you’re lucky you’ll just need to replace part of the catalytic converter, like the heat shield, but there’s a chance that you’ll need a full replacement and even some additional components such as oxygen sensors. That’s why Toyota Tacoma catalytic converters cost between $1,212 and $1,250 on average to replace.
New Toyota Tacomas come with an emissions warranty that is good for 36,000 miles or three years—whichever comes first! Your replacement costs may be covered by the manufacturer if your catalytic converter is defective under the warranty time frame. But you’ll be paying out of pocket if the replacement is due to regular wear and tear, the warranty has expired, or you don’t have comprehensive coverage.

How to replace a catalytic converter

Catalytic converter replacements are for the mechanically inclined who have all the tools for the job, which include a pipe cutter or torch, pipe expanders, gasket cleaners, socket wrench, and more. 
If that sounds like you and you decide to replace the catalytic converter on your Tacoma yourself, opt for an OEM-grade replacement rather than an aftermarket version to ensure quality and the correct fit for your model.
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