The Best Windshield Wiper Blades!

wiper blades in boxes hanging on a rack

Wiper blades What’s important? Not all wiper blades are created equal. There are several things to consider when selecting a new windshield wiper. The design of the blade body The quality of the latch mechanism The quality of the rubber wiper insert The windshield wiper body Metal wiper blades are still the best. You might …

Read more

How much does a converter cost?

How Much Does a Converter Cost? “How much does a Prius converter cost?” It’s a very popular question right now, unfortunately. People call, mostly in the morning, to ask this question when they wake up and find their Prius is very loud all of a sudden. Then I get to ruin their day with the …

Read more

Prius catalytic converter anti-theft device

O2 sensor wires cut during converter theft

The good news is that we’re now seeing a lot of the cars that we’ve installed our Prius catalytic converter anti-theft device on come back, with the converters still under the car. Why would we see them again if the converter isn’t stolen? Well, thieves aren’t the brightest, and they often don’t notice the anti-theft until after they’ve done some damage. They may cut the O2 sensor wires, cut the pipe, and unbolt flanges, but when they try to remove the converter, they find they can’t.

The thieves are still plying their trade and we’re still seeing 1 -5 per per day. A person or two is arrested here and there. A man was crushed to death in Berkeley. Still, the problem continues.

15 replacement Prius catalytic converters hanging neatly on the wall

The O2 sensor wiring on this converter was cut. The sensor is a $184 part, and removing the connector under the passenger side carpet takes a bit of time. However, we can repair the wires to avoid replacing the sensor, saving some money.

Repairing Prius O2 sensor wires damaged during attempted theft

Unfortunately the wires in the O2 sensor pigtail are marine-grade nickel plated stranded wire, which is hard to solder, even with flux.

Prius O2 sensor wires after repair

Crimp connectors work just as well, but standard insulated crimp connectors will let water in and even with marine grade wire, water and salt isn’t great for connections, so we’ll need to seal these up.

Double wall heat shrink tubing forms a watertight seal and will protect the connectors from the elements.

O2 sensor wires with heat shrink installed

If a thief tries to cut the O2 sensor wires again, he’s in for a surprise. We’ve zip-tied a piece of hardened cable along side the wires. The wires may still be damaged, but his side cutters will be damaged as well. And if this is his first step, maybe he’ll realize the converter won’t be coming off very easily.

 

Some flexible conduit will help protect the wires from abrasion and hide our little surprise. Orange is the color code for high voltage, maybe that’ll deter some of the more knowledgeable dirtbags, probably not many of those though. Perhaps just the fact that it looks different will give them pause. One can only hope.

Prius converter with anti theft cables installed and repaired O2 sensor harness