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3208 International St, Fairbanks, AK   |   (907) 312-1447

The Mechanic’s Point of View

Rebecca Levey 2 min read

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This is what we see when a customer comes in reporting “a deafening roar under the seat upon starting vehicle”. Sadly, we don’t have to look far to find the cause. Catalytic Converter theft has become as common as moose on ski trails. To us at METRO, it is startling that there is no reporting on the issue. We thought we’d get the ball rolling by sharing just what we have seen this week, March 5, 2021.

The Musher’s Hall

Jeep Liberty. Parked for trail access. Exhaust stolen along with sensors. 4K+ in repair costs to driver.

Fenced Industrial Lot

Dodge Ram, Diesel. Parked in owner’s fenced lot. Exhaust stolen along with sensors. 9K+ in repair costs to driver.

Raven’s Landing Community Center

Honda Element. Parked on secured, well-lit property. Exhaust stolen along with sensors. 3K+

The Mushers Hall is the place one parks to access so many trails. Visible from busy Farmer’s Loop, it has always been a safe place to park for a ski or to walk the dog in an evening. This Jeep Liberty accrued well over 3K worth of damages. So much so that the Insurance Company totaled the vehicle.

Parking Your Plow Truck on the lot you own and keep clean just got expensive for this business. The 2011 Ram needs over 9K in repairs after thieves cut the exhaust to ribbons. The missing sensors and exhaust parts are an integral part of the ignition system. Without them, modern vehicles will not run.

The Honda Element is on everyone’s list as an SUV for all things and seasons. Unfortunately, this handsome utility vehicle is first choice for parts looting. The location and configuration of the exhaust on the Element makes it an easy mark even in well-lit and populated areas.

Raven Landing Community Center’s covered awnings are bright and there is security. However, thirty seconds with a sawzall and duffel bag, and a thief can walk off with $800 while the driver sits with over 3K in repairs.

One overlooked problem with Catalytic Converter Theft is the ability to find parts to perform the repairs. Because these parts are stolen so frequently, there is far more demand than supply. More often than not, original equipment replacement parts are not available. The incident results in a forced equipment downgrade with short-term results.

If you have a theft you’d like to share, email us at [email protected]. We are committed to keeping this trend in the limelight until it is resolved.