• A $1,000 hot technology? It’s quite a steal.

    Home » Forums » Newsletter and Homepage topics » A $1,000 hot technology? It’s quite a steal.


    PUBLIC DEFENDER By Brian Livingston Every technology has unintended consequences, but this is ridiculous. Essential elements in the devices we use eve
    [See the full post at: A $1,000 hot technology? It’s quite a steal.]

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 5 reply threads
    • #2350518

      An auto mechanic installs a shield to make a catalytic converter hard for thieves to simply cut loose and walk away with.

      If anyone who sees this wants to have this done, please think carefully about restricting airflow around the catalytic converter. Those things operate at extremely high temperatures and the waste heat must escape somewhere. “Somewhere” is best not upward into the passenger space.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2350782

      Palladium is also used in the chemical industry (catalysers) in part of the process of manufacturing circuit boards. Chicken and egg scenario..components or circuit boards?

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
    • #2350797

      If they could come up with some way to shield the thing and still allow airflow, that would be grate. <g>

      Seriously, though, I have never heard of this. Mind boggled. I know people will steal anything that’s not nailed down if they can make money (the same kinds of people who used to strip unoccupied houses of wiring and piping to sell the copper scrap, presumably), but the prices listed are astounding.

      You can still get aftermarket cats for well under a hundred dollars, brand new. The ones I would use for my car start at $55 on Amazon. If one can get a brand new cat for $55, it would stand to reason that there are less than $55 of materials inside. There are traces of precious metals inside, but nearly all of the weight of the thing is in the steel casing and the ceramic substrate.

      Of course dealers charge an arm and a leg for some things, but that’s as “official Toyota” (etc.) parts, not scrap. There’s an Apple-like level of markup there, and you’d never see that same level of markup selling for scrap. You’d be better off, as a thief, selling the stolen cat back to the person you stole it from as a carparticus and not as a source of trace amounts of precious metals. That could be the racket… steal parts from cars that have the highest replacement cost, then sell back those parts to the same people, since the number of purloined parts is exactly equal to the number of people who now need exactly that part. It used to be they’d steal the whole car and then cut it up as used parts, but I guess you can also cut it up first.

      Sheesh, if my car had a factory cat I could get nearly a grand for, I’d consider selling it and having the local shop put a generic one on for a tidy profit.

      The idea that Toyota putting additional controls on the purchase of replacement parts is going to somehow address the issue of theft is equally absurd. What difference does it make why you want a cat for a Prius? Unless it is some kind of misguided attempt to address the alleged shortage they refer to in the linked article, it doesn’t make any sense on its face.

      Come to think of it, even if that is their goal, it still doesn’t make any sense. If someone’s willing to fork over that kind of money for a cat, they must need it. What difference does it make why they need it? If the old one was stolen, or if someone had the exhaust out and it was inadvertently run over by a passing steamroller or stepped on by a herd of elephants casually strolling by, or if half of the cylinders weren’t firing and it melted the honeycomb substrate into an amorphous glob, or if someone tried to go off-roading and ended up high-centering on a jagged rock badly enough to crack the ceramic, or if some person found a bunch of leaded racing gas and decided to use it in their Prius, it makes no difference. You need it or you don’t, and if you don’t, why would you be willing to pay such prices?

      This kind of thing is why I carry comprehensive insurance, btw. Even though my car is quite old, at the age long past where people would tell me to go liability only… no, I’m not doing that. I’ve used comp many times over the years, but never any of the others. The most recent was a couple grand worth of hail damage, before I had a garage in which to park, and that, fortunately, was many years ago.

      I did have parts yoinked right off of my car before… the taillight lenses. When I reported the theft to my insurance company via the claims hotline, the report filtered down to my agent, and he called me in incredulity, wanting to make sure the claims agent heard it right. He’d been in the business for many years and never heard of such a thing. They covered it, though, and the replacement lenses are still on there and working well, thankfully. It makes me wonder what the thief was thinking when he took them… did he personally have the same model of car and had someone steal his? Or perhaps he was rear-ended in an accident and they were broken?


      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

    • #2350804

      What timing! Our local law enforcement agencies were notified on Friday that it is a big problem in a neighboring parish (county) right now.

      Never Say Never

    • #2350865

      Stealing cat converters has been going on for years.  Definitely not a recent ‘phenomena.’  In Maryland, stealing a cat converter is considered grand theft, and thus, a felony.  Don’t know if the charges are an effective deterrent, but I always believe in letting people find out the hard way that crime really doesn’t pay. (unless you’re in the ransomaware biz)

      "War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. And I say let us give them all they want" ----- William T. Sherman

    • #2350867

      Got a shield on order right now.
      Neighbor down the street stopped by to notify us that theirs was stolen. An RV around the corner lost theirs.
      May not be a new phenomenon, but the hit rate has ramped way up recently.

    Viewing 5 reply threads
    Reply To: A $1,000 hot technology? It’s quite a steal.

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use all available BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Your information: