Q: The catalytic converter had just been stolen from my ’07 Prius for the second time in two months – and it took almost three weeks to repair the part for the first time as this is happening to so many people.
Alison Hyde, Palo Alto
A: You poor soul. Twice in two months.
Q: EBay has thousands of listings for used catalytic converters. Is there any chance the state will discourage selling them online?
A: Is not. Selling the converter online is legal. That is not the problem. These thefts happen on old Prius cars produced in 2011 due to the increased value of precious metals found in hybrid car converters. They are targeted because they have two power sources – an electric motor and a mechanical motor – so their converters are used less often to handle pollutants. This means that the metals inside them are less likely to corrode, so they are more valuable and, therefore, thieves are preferred.
While it is illegal to pay scrap metal in cash, illegal scrap metal dealers will pay between $ 200 and $ 500 per conversion. The repairs can run from $ 3,000 to $ 5,000.
Q: Is there any chance that Toyota will confess that it damaged, ordered the recall and installed the $ 300 protective metal sheet that should have been there in the first place? Why the hell don’t they stamp the VIN on the most easily stolen part of the car?
The next time I buy a car, I’ll ask if it’s dangerous, because it’s not fun. Did anyone among your readers have installed those plates and still have stolen the catalytic converter?
A: Not in newer models. The savvy repair shop will weld a 3/8 inch thick wire from the exhaust back to the resonator on both sides. Thieves rarely get these adapters.
There is a $ 225 product called Cat Security. It is a shield that fastens to the bottom of a Prius, blocking access to the vehicle. There are also generic, cheaper cable lock type solutions for placing the key on your adapter.
Q: I drive on Highway 87 a couple of times a week and Caltrans changed the sign near Curtner Avenue to “Watch your speed.” I hope it will slow down some of those speeds! … When driving down Interstate 280, signs say, “This is a highway, not a highway. See your speed. “
Chris del Pilar and Penny Pollock
A: Alas, Penny added: “Great message, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference for speed players. Probably going too fast for them to read. “
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