While most drivers are concerned about their vehicles being stolen or broken into, the fact is there’s a new wave of crime that’s on the rise: parts thieves. As metal prices have given rise to recycling centers paying top dollar for certain metals which are commonly used in vehicles, thieves have begun to hit vehicles for components such as catalytic converters, mufflers and more. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t realize that their vehicles have been affected by these thieves until they go for an inspection, a tune-up, or they experience problems with operation. Even worse, at that point effected drivers often have to face expensive repair and replacement costs to fix stolen component problems.
Another component which thieves strike is the airbag of a vehicle. Used airbags can often be sold for hundreds of dollars to a junkyard or used car lot, and many thieves will break into a vehicle simply to steal this component. Stealing an unused airbag not only leads to expensive repairs, but it can also lead to unsafe driving conditions, as an airbag is a device used to save lives in the event of an accident. Driving without an airbag may also result in malfunctions within a vehicle’s electronics and computer systems, leading to difficult driving, unnecessary wear and tear, and accidents.
To make matter worse, if you try to sell a vehicle after it has been victimized, you may find that your prospects are slim. Many private buyers will want to see a full vehicle history report, including when oil changes were done, when tires were rotated and any criminal activity the vehicle has been involved in. Having components stolen, even with an accompanying police report, can make selling your vehicle to a private buyer difficult.
Additionally, a dealership will often offer much less to drivers who are offering a vehicle which is missing components, as the dealership knows that it will need to make those replacements and repairs. These dealerships may also offer less to vehicle owners who have had a history of component theft, as the dealership will need to explain this to the next owner. Car buyers, on the other hand, can often see past the damage done by a component thief, and they can generally offer vehicle sellers a price that is fairer. This is because these companies understand that crime happens, and they can also replace the missing components with ease and efficiency.