Thieves' Top Pick: Why Your Ford F-150's Catalytic Converter is at Risk
This isn’t a top pick list any vehicle owner wants to be a part of. Converter theft has become an increasingly prevalent issue in the United States, with thieves targeting vehicles for their catalytic converters. Carfax data scientists report that up to 153,000 catalytic converter thefts have occurred in the U.S. in 2022.
At the top of this list? The Ford F-Series. Out of the F-Series, the popular F-150 full-size pickup truck has emerged as the most targeted vehicle for this type of theft, as it is particularly vulnerable due to its high ground clearance, frequent commercial use, and prevalence on the roads. In this blog post, we’ll examine the reasons behind the high incidence of converter theft from F-150s, the impact of this type of theft on vehicle owners, and the steps that can be taken to protect your Ford F-150 from becoming a victim of this type of crime.
Why is the Ford F-150 a popular target for converter theft?
There are many reasons why the Ford F-150 is the most frequently targeted vehicle for converter theft.
First off, it is one of the most popular vehicles in the United States. According to Statista, the Ford F-Series was the best-selling light truck in 2022, with close to 654,000 units sold. Out of the F-Series, the most popular model is the F-150. With so many F-150s on the roads, it’s not surprising that thieves are drawn to them as potential targets for converter theft.
Secondly, the F-150's high ground clearance makes it particularly attractive to thieves, as they can easily slide underneath the vehicle to access the catalytic converter. This is especially true for older models of the F-150, which tend to have more ground clearance than newer models. Thieves can often steal a catalytic converter from an F-150 in a matter of minutes, making it a quick and lucrative crime.
Finally, the F-150 is frequently used for commercial purposes, which means that it is often parked in unsecured areas for long periods of time. This makes it easier for thieves to target these vehicles and steal their catalytic converters without being noticed. Commercial vehicles are often parked in industrial areas or on the side of the road, where there is little to no security or surveillance.
What is the impact of converter theft on F-150 owners?
Converter theft can have a significant impact on Ford F-150 owners, in terms of the cost of replacing the stolen converter, time lost while waiting for a replacement, and the impact on their insurance premiums. According to RepairPal, the average cost of a replacement catalytic converter for an F-150 is around $1,500. This can vary depending on the model and the type of converter needed and can be a large expense for many vehicle owners, especially if they have already had to pay for other repairs or maintenance. On top of the cost of the replacement converter, many people who drive the F-150 as a work truck or for their business could potentially suffer larger losses while they wait for the replacement. Due to the high number of thefts, some of the catalytic converters for the F-Series are back-ordered for months!
In addition to the cost of the replacement converter and time lost waiting for one, many F-150 owners may experience a rise in their insurance premiums following a converter theft. Insurance companies consider vehicles that have been targeted for converter theft to be at higher risk of future theft or damage, and may raise premiums accordingly. This can add an additional financial burden for vehicle owners who are already dealing with the cost of the stolen converter.
What steps can be taken to protect your F-150 from converter theft?
Fortunately, there are steps that F-150 owners, as well as owners of other vehicles heavily targeted for converter theft, can take to protect their vehicles. More than anything else, thieves hate exposure. The first and most important step is to park your vehicle in a secure location whenever possible. View our full list of recommendations to protect your vehicle.
The most effective way to deter converter thieves is to install an anti-theft device such as a Cat Shield™ made by Miller CAT. We’ll be releasing shields for the F-150 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!