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10 Commonly Stolen Car Parts and How To Protect Your Vehicle

Car parts have become more expensive following the COVID-19 pandemic. The rise in the cost of car parts can be traced back to a reduction in the production of new car parts causing more people to look for the more available used car parts. Car part theft has also increased within the automobile world to meet the rising demand for used car parts.

If your car is intact, chances are that it won’t be long before you become a target for car part thieves. Interestingly, all vehicles are at risk, whether you drive a rusty old car from the early 2000s or a brand new vehicle.

If you’re wondering what car parts are the easiest to steal, you’re asking the right question. Here in this article, we’ve identified the easiest car parts to steal and how to protect your car parts from theft.

The Easiest Car Parts to Steal

Air Bags

Air Bags are an essential safety feature in cars. Air Bags protect the driver and passengers in the event of a crash. However, they may be stolen easily by thieves who know their worth. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that an estimated 50,000 airbags valued at $50 million are stolen yearly.

Air Bag Theft Prevention Tip: Installing steering wheel locks can protect your driver’s side airbag from being stolen. You can also invest in a decent vehicle alarm system to notify you of breaches.


Car batteries are essential to the ignition and electrical system. It is also a valuable part that ensures the vehicle’s smooth running. If you’ve ever changed your car battery, you already know how easy it is to pop them out from under the hood.

Car battery theft is on the rise, especially as they can’t be tracked and are worth a few hundred dollars on the market.

Battery Theft Prevention Tip: Car owners are advised to install security alarms under the hood. These alarms often go off when your hood is popped open. You can also safeguard batteries using padlocks and cables.

Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters cost between $500 and $4,000 on the market. The cost alone is enough reason for thieves to target your vehicle, especially if you own a hybrid vehicle like the Toyota Prius.

Catalytic converters are also located in an easy-to-access area, under the vehicle and close to the exhaust system. Reports show that thieves may be able to remove this part within minutes of sliding under your vehicle.

Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Tip: Car owners can purchase catalytic converter protectors or security devices designed to make catalytic converter theft harder.

Garage Door Openers

Garage door openers present ease, allowing you to open or close your garage door from inside your vehicle. You may not notice this part has been stolen from your car, especially if you do not use it frequently. Replacing the opener can cost you a few hundred dollars.

Garage Door Opener Theft Prevention Tip: Avoid leaving your garage door opener in your car. Its theft creates a potential security problem, especially when thieves know where you live. They may gain entry into your property using the opener.

Stereo Systems

Stereo and entertainment systems have been major targets for thieves since the 1960s. With advanced entertainment systems loaded onto newer vehicle models, it’s just become more inviting for thieves to attempt stealing.

Stereo Systems Theft Prevention Tip: You can invest in a car alarm or vehicle security system to prevent break-ins. You can also purchase stereo systems with a detachable faceplate to discourage break-ins and theft.

Tires and Rims

The tires and rims are one of the most vulnerable parts of your car. If you’ve recently purchased new rims, you know they can cost between $90 and $500 each, depending on the material and type. Car part thieves are often familiar with the street value of different wheel types and may look to make some quick dollar off stealing yours.

Armed with the proper tool and manpower, each wheel on your vehicle may be gone in minutes. It’s worse because the tires and wheels are hard to track.

Tires and Rims Theft Prevention Tip: Park your car in secured areas or purchase wheel locks. You can also turn your wheels at a sharp angle when parking on the street.

Truck Tailgates

Tailgate theft is on the rise in the United States. A quick post-pandemic search will show you many car owners complaining of a stolen tailgate, especially on common vehicles like Toyota Tacoma. Some vehicles also have pretty easy-to-detach tailgates, making them an easy target for criminals.

Tailgate Theft Prevention Tip: Purchase a tailgate prevention lock to keep your tailgate intact and free from theft.

Vehicle Registration

Your vehicle registration is your identity and can be stolen, similar to identity theft through credit cards. For this type of theft, the aim may not be for direct financial gains but for unscrupulous activities.

Leaving your car registration unmanned and unprotected can expose you and your personal information to thieves and their antics. A thief can register a stolen vehicle using your details, including your VIN, or have a duplicate key made for your car. The hazards are limitless.

Vehicle Registration Theft Prevention Tip: Avoid leaving important vehicle documents and information inside your car or in plain sight. You can keep digital copies of your vehicle’s information to be used when pulled over by the authorities.

Vehicle Seats

Your vehicle’s upholstery is an expensive part of its interior. If you have an SUV, chances are that you have a collapsible third-row seat that can be manipulated to create cargo space. Thieves love the third-row seats for several reasons, including their street value.

Car Seat Theft Prevention Tip: The Los Angeles Police Department recommends using a bicycle lock to keep your third-row seat in place and away from thieves. You can also invest in a good vehicle security system.

Other Valuables

Thieves are interested in all items of value they can find in your car. Leaving items like smartphones, portable GPS devices, sunglasses, jewelry, wallet, cash, and more, puts you and your vehicle at risk. If you can, take out all gadgets, including handheld gaming consoles, tablets, and others, out of your vehicle before parking them.

Buy Replacement Car Parts From Orthodox Auto

You need a trusted used car parts seller to buy from if you have been a victim of car parts theft. Orthodox Auto has some of the finest selections of used car parts for you to choose from. Contact us via phone at (215) 608-3270 to request your used auto parts.


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