August 18, 2023

What is the cost of replacing a catalytic converter?

What is the cost of replacing a catalytic converter? And does insurance cover it? In the first part of this two part blog series, we talked about the increasing amount of catalytic converters theft in the DC area. Hopefully, you won’t ever have to deal with this issue but in case you do, we have you covered.

How can I prevent my catalytic converter from being stolen?
Because it’s so easy for a thief to remove a catalytic converter, there’s no 100% way to prevent theft. However, there are some things you can do to make it harder:

  1. Park in a secure area like a garage or a place that is well-lit or, even better, a place covered by a security camera. This is especially important overnight.
  2. In Fairfax, a task force has recommended that you etch your VIN onto the catalytic converter. It will help with identification and may cause criminals to look for another unmarked one. You can do it with a screwdriver or have someone in the shop do it for you.
  3. Install an anti-theft shield. These cost from $200-$600 and can be installed by us and/or most full-service shops. “They aren’t a guarantee,” says former Service Director, John Petronio, “but thieves want to move fast and be quiet and this makes it much harder to do both.”

What is the cost of replacing a catalytic converter?

Catalytic converters have a broad range from about $900 on the low end to $3,500 or even a bit more on the high-end. The difference in price is primarily around parts, because labor is a relatively small part of the cost. The low-end pricing would be applicable if you opt for an aftermarket part for a domestic sedan (think Chevrolet or Ford).

The high-end of the range would come into play for an original manufacturer part for a luxury or large vehicle. “With catalytic converters,” says our John, “you do get what you pay for.” Manufacturer-made ones can last around ten years while the aftermarket brands can start to fail after only a few years.

Does insurance cover catalytic converter theft?

Sometimes. The only way to know for sure is to check with your insurance provider to see if it’s included in your current plan. If it’s not, you should consider adding it to your coverage. However, insurance companies are increasingly including it as part of comprehensive coverage plans.

How do I know if my catalytic converter has been stolen?

There are a few clear signs that your catalytic converter has either been stolen or otherwise stopped work.  The two big ones are that your Check Engine Light has come on and your engine is significantly louder and you hear a real roaring sound — think Harley Davidson.  Your car will also start emitting smokier and smellier exhaust.


If you have questions or concerns about a specific situation with your catalytic converter, you can always give us a call and we’ll help guide you on the best solution. We’re here for you whether it’s just a question or you’re in need of a replacement/repair.