How to Prevent Toyota Yaris Catalytic Converter Theft

Worried about catalytic converter theft for the Toyota Yaris? That's a fair worry. Here’s what you need to know about Yaris cat theft and how to prevent it.
Written by Mariza Morin
Reviewed by Brenna Swanston
While the
Toyota
Yaris isn’t a likely victim of catalytic converter theft, you can still protect your compact car in several ways, including purchasing anti-theft devices like a catalytic converter shield or etching your VIN on this valuable component.  
Concerned your Yaris might be a target for catalytic converter theft? We’ve got your back! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ways to prevent catalytic converter theft, replacement costs, and what to do if it gets stolen, along with the type of
car insurance
required to keep costs low. 
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Is it easy to steal the catalytic converter from a Toyota Yaris? 

Thankfully, no. Discontinued in 2020, the Toyota Yaris isn’t exactly a hot target for catalytic converter theft like certain model years for Toyota siblings such as the
Tundra
and
Camry
The reason? The catalytic converter is usually safe in a Yaris simply due to its location: typically found between the engine and bulkhead attached to the exhaust manifold. Since this valuable component is nicely tucked away in the engine bay, it’s much harder for car thieves to access the catalytic converter on a Toyota Yaris.
Catalytic converters tend to be easier to steal from full-size trucks like the Toyota Tundra and
Ford F-Series
. Considering there’s enough ground clearance underneath the heavy-duty pickup truck, car thieves can easily slide under most trucks and quickly cut the pipes on the catalytic converter that’s lightweight enough to run off without much risk. 

Why are Toyota Yaris catalytic converters stolen?

In general, catalytic converters are stolen from vehicles because they contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium. These valuable elements help convert harmful exhaust gasses produced by the engine into less harmful emissions that escape the tailpipe. But in recent years, the price for these same materials has also increased substantially, making catalytic converters an easy target for thieves. 

Toyota catalytic converter replacement cost

But if a complete mastermind criminal has somehow stolen the catalytic converter from your compact car, it’s not the cheapest part to replace. On average, it costs between $1,536 and $1,550 to replace a Toyota Yaris catalytic converter
You can lower your costs by going with an aftermarket replacement, but no matter how you cut it, catalytic converters are an expensive component that requires intensive labor. 

How to prevent catalytic converter theft from a Toyota Yaris

Even though the Toyota Yaris is usually not the number one choice among catalytic converter thieves, you should still be on guard when it comes to protecting your vehicle. Here are a few anti-theft approaches to prevent catalytic converter theft: 

Park in a secure area

It’s always a good idea to park your Yaris in a garage if you have access to one. If not, make sure your vehicle is parked for the night in your driveway with motion sensor lights or a luminous area with video surveillance if possible. Potential thieves will think twice about stealing your catalytic converter if there’s a giant spotlight on your vehicle. 

Buy a catalytic converter shield

Up your security game with an anti-theft device, like a catalytic converter anti-theft shield
Generally made from an aluminum plate or cage that covers your catalytic converter, there are many catalytic converter shield choices on the market right now. One fantastic option includes the high-rated
Cat Shield™ from MILLERCAT
or there is even a slew of alternatives on Amazon too. And luckily these days, catalytic converter shields are relatively easy to install on your own. 
You’ll not only protect your catalytic converter with this effective shield, but you might even be able to snag a great discount from your insurance company with this anti-theft device!

Put your VIN on the catalytic converter

Stop thieves dead in their tracks by etching and tagging your vehicle’s VIN right on the catalytic converter itself. This way, potential thieves won’t be able to sell your cat on the black market. 
To raise public awareness, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) regularly holds catalytic converter etching events.
So if you can find an event close to you, this is a great way to safely etch your cat for additional protection. But keep in mind that you can also get your Yaris catalytic tagged at a muffler shop. 

Invest in comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance
won’t guard your Yaris all night in the driveway, but this investment will guard your wallet in the unfortunate event that your Yaris catalytic converter is stolen. With this vital coverage, you’ll be able to submit a claim for theft and replace your catalytic converter without having to pay out-of-pocket costs that would otherwise run you in the thousands. 

What to do if your Toyota Yaris’s catalytic converter is stolen

So what should you do if the catalytic converter in your Toyota Yaris has been stolen? First things first: call the police. Depending on the exact location where the theft occurred, law enforcement might have access to security footage that will help them find the suspect. 
If they can’t track down the theft, at the very least the authorities will file a police report that you’ll need when you reach out to your insurance company. If you have comprehensive coverage, you’ll be able to file a claim for catalytic converter theft and spare yourself the astronomical out-of-pocket costs that come with a complete cat replacement. Your insurance policy will cover the costs of replacement parts after you pay the deductible and your insurance agent will schedule repair services with a professional mechanic on your behalf. 
Don’t have comprehensive insurance? In this case, unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for the catalytic converter replacement yourself. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, try searching for a local mechanic that’s willing to use aftermarket parts. 

Can you drive a Toyota Yaris without a catalytic converter?

Technically, your Toyota Yaris will function without a catalytic converter, but it isn’t a viable long-term option for your vehicle—not to mention for the environment! 
Without a catalytic converter, your Yaris would not be able to successfully pass an emissions test. Additionally, your compact car will start to run into a few issues that could include rough driving and acceleration, along with terribly loud vehicle noises that will probably have you running to the repair shop before you know it. 
Sure, you could safely get around in your Yaris without a catalytic converter, but in the end—it’s not worth it for your vehicle or Mother Nature.
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