As a journalist, I try and find information that can help anyone who owns a car, truck, or SUV. Typically, I stick with writing about Toyota Prius and other hybrids. I also write about battery tech and the future of the automotive industry.
But what about the now and the problems that plague the industry at the moment? In this article, I will break character as Pete, The Hybrid Guy, and be Pete, the automotive professional who has an important message for Honda Element Owners.
The good news is that there is a solution. I will get to it at the end, but first, you need to know what is happening.
Your Honda Element Is Under Attack
I have written a plethora of articles about Toyota Prius and catalytic converter theft. The epidemic is robbing owners of hard-earned money and precious time. As a 14 time Prius owner myself, my heart goes out to those who have been victims. It seems every day I get a message from someone who follows me telling me they had their converter stolen.
To be perfectly honest with you, that hurts me because not only do I know the cost of that for you personally, but the price for all things considered. Driving without a catalytic converter pollutes the air we breathe even more. You then become subject to far more harmful exhaust gasses too.
It is not just about the air we breathe through. It is about how it affects society. If a thief steals your converter on your Element, you now have to pay for an unnecessary repair. You also have to take time out of your work schedule to drop off the vehicle. That costs you valuable work time and even more money out of your pocket.
Then there are costs for supply and demand. The more converters needed, the higher the price will be for them. In some states, where converter theft is high everywhere, you are required to have OE cats, and some of these converters are on backorder for weeks.
Then there is the insurance part of it. The more converters that get stolen and the more claims come in will affect premiums. If your car is a hot target and the insurance companies know that, get ready to see an increase in your rates.
Now your car is sitting at a shop or dealer waiting for a part that could have a price increase, and you have to find other means of transportation. These things cost you money, so it is not just about your converter getting stolen anymore.
The thing is, catalytic converter theft is not stopping. If anything, it is increasing rapidly, with Rhodium's high price now at about $20,000 an ounce.
Thieves are well aware that as precious metals' price increases, they need to scrap more converters while prices are high to bring a bigger payday. The problem now is getting so bad that I wrote this article outside of my usual field of study. I did it specifically to tell Honda Element owners that their vehicles are hot targets and take action now.
What Can An Element Owner Do To Get Protected?
Some Honda Element owners have the luxury of a garage. The first thing I tell people is usually park where the thieves cannot see your vehicle. I also say park in well-lit areas, if there are cameras even better.
If these options are not available for you but you are worried because of where you live. You are in luck. I have some good friends over at a company who is looking out for you and your Element.
The Cat Security™ product line just released a new converter protection device that blocks out thieves from stealing your converter in less than 3 minutes.
I had the opportunity to look it over and compare it against other products on the market. This state of the art protection device for the Honda Element knocks the socks off any other protection device that I could find. Nothing I found was either vehicle-specific or had the level of protection that this device does. The way they have it built is insanely good.
The entire unit was thought through thoroughly, right down to each piece of hardware that comes with it. I examined it on and off of the vehicle for quite some time. My conclusion was that if a thief wanted this converter, they would have to spend a significant amount of time tearing this apart.
There are companies out there making other products, most of which are universal. I feel that vehicle-specific protection offers more than any universal could. Universal protection is a very basic deterrent at best, but if this is your only option, you should get something. Some protection is better than no protection at all.
Catalytic converter theft is no joke. Some people laugh at it, but when it happens to you, it is no laughing matter. I have seen this happen to good people—hard-working people who rely on the car like the Element to take them places.
Stolen converters contribute to more air pollution and cost us all in more ways than just our pocketbook. Do the right thing and get your Honda Element protected regardless of what route you take.
Thank you all; I hope you and your car stay safe out there. The world is crazy right now. If you are looking to get protected or want to know more about Cat Security™ anti-theft products, you can visit them here.
If you want to chat with me, please find me on Twitter or Facebook at the links in my bio. Have a great day.
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.