The other morning a young man drove his 2006 Toyota Prius into the shop complaining of a very loud sound that he didn’t hear when he parked it last evening. He recently moved to the area and found our repair shop on Yelp. His first question to me was, why is my Prius roaring like a lion? Could it be my muffler? I wasn’t sure if it was his muffler or not, but I knew we needed to look at it before diagnosing the problem.
It could have been something as simple as a damaged muffler or something much more complicated such as a leak or crack in the exhaust system’s manifold. But first, we had to take a look at it. We began by isolating the problem. That didn’t take long as it was evident that someone had removed the catalytic converter. We needed to install a new one in the car, but first I had to tell my customer what had happened and what it would cost to replace it.
The young man shook his head and seemed bewildered as to why someone would steal the catalytic converter. “Okay, what is it going to cost to replace it?” he asked.
Before answering his question, I inquired whether he had comprehensive coverage on his car insurance and what his deductible was because he should submit a claim. Catalytic converters are required on passenger cars as a way to cut down on dangerous emissions such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxide, and can be costly. So, although his Prius will function without a converter, he can be fined if his car doesn’t have one. He wasn’t happy about the situation he found himself in, especially after I told him that the last one we had replaced for a customer cost about $2800. The price can go even higher depending on the vehicle. Thieves can easily reach under the car and cut off the converter. Apparently, stolen catalytic converters have become a serious issue in USA and Canada even though it’s illegal to buy or sell used converters.
Before we replaced the converter, we performed our courtesy Car & Truck Courtesy Check, allowing our technicians to visually inspect seven major areas of the vehicle, including more than 38 separate points. We looked at the wiper and washer system, exterior lights, AC, and battery to your car’s filters, oils and fluids, belts and hoses, tires, brakes, steering, and suspension, etc. We determined that outside of the missing converter everything else was in working order.
On his way out that day, the young man stopped by the office and told me how impressed he was with our diagnostics and service and was glad that he found us on Yelp. Customers return to us time and again because we treat them with respect, care for their vehicles as if they were our own, and offer fair pricing. They are also impressed by our reviews on Facebook and Google and our long-standing AAA recognition as an Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Winner.