The Top 10 Most Common Car Parts Stolen

Most common car stolen parts

Just like any home appliances, cars are made of parts that can be detached either for repair or replacement of broken parts. However, thieves have been able to take advantage of the disassembled nature to illegally remove some car parts for sale.

Read on to find out the top ten (10) most common car parts stolen and four(4) proven ways to prevent your car part from being stolen so you don’t become a victim.

What You Need to Know About Stolen Car Parts

In the world today, there is a likelihood of finding people keen to steal a car or its parts wherever it’s located or parked. It’s just a fact you have to accept.

But since stealing the whole car may be risky, these thieves usually target specific car parts or items because this seems to be easier to execute and also more profitable.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it would take an experienced thief half an hour to strip a car of its major parts in order to sell each of the parts or items for two to four times the car’s value.

Whether you own a new car or a used car, there’s a need for you to prevent or minimize the likelihood of your car or its parts being stolen – by your sensitivity and installing an anti-theft system.

Here are 10 Most Common Car Parts Stolen

1. Catalytic Converters

A catalytic converter converts the toxic gasses and pollutants expelled from the car’s engine through the exhaust into safe material.

Thieves steal this car part easily and so often because the materials they’re made with are currently more valuable than gold. They include platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

2. Car Stereos and Navigation Systems

Thieves might have lost their interest in stealing car stereos as they no longer carry the street value they once held.

However, modern cars now tempt thieves due to their highly sophisticated and valuable features. Aftermarket DVD players and navigation systems can be sold again for thousands of dollars.

3. Tires and Wheels

Your car can still move your car without a GPS or sound system but not without tires and wheels.

For a long time, this has been a favorite with car thieves as tires and rims can be easily removed with only a few tools and some cinder blocks. Besides, they’re easy to sell again.

4. Air Bags

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reported that an estimate 50,000 airbags, valued at $50 million, are stolen annually.

This important and lifesaving car part has to be replaced once it has been stolen or deployed in a collision.

Thieves sell these stolen airbags to untruthful suppliers who then go on to install them in the vehicles of car owners who knew nothing about the history.

5. Registration

When we think about the most common car stolen parts, our minds think of the parts and items listed above.

But some thieves can be extremely cunning that they steal your identity. Their access to documents like your vehicle’s registration can reveal your personal information.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) can even be used to register stolen vehicles or have a duplicate key for your car made, thereby giving them access to your car even after you might have locked the doors. This looks scary!

6. Third Row Seats

It’s now easier to manipulate or adjust modern vehicle seats to meet your needs.

For instance, the entire rows of seats can be folded down or even removed to give more room for other things.

Unlike before, seats aren’t locked and as a result, thieves can easily cart away those adjustable back row seats, especially in SUVs.

7. Garage Door Openers

Sometimes, car-related theft is not limited to the most common car parts stolen.

If a thief can gain entrance to your garage door opener, you might not notice immediately and before you do, the illegal act could have taken place.

The thief is likely to have access to anything in your garage and even in your house especially if the door behind the garage is unlocked.

8. Tailgates

This may not look like one of the most common car parts stolen, but a quick google search will show more than enough cases of tailgate thefts across the world.

The tailgates of certain truck models, like the Toyota Tacoma, appear to be easy to remove, thereby becoming a prime target for thieves.

9. License Plate/Stickers

Thieves could steal other cars’ license plates or even their stickers because they can’t afford to pay for their car registration and want their cars to look like they are registered already , but they are not.

10. Other Valuables

Usually, thieves won’t discriminate when it comes to what they can steal – as long as the item has a monetary value.

If you leave your wallet, some cash, any mobile devices, keys, or anything of value in your vehicle, a typical thief is likely to sweep them away.

Best Practices to Prevent Car Theft

Having shared the top ten common car parts stolen, here are some horse-sense strategies you can deploy to greatly minimize the risk of your car or its parts being stolen.

1. Install an Anti-theft Device and Park Safely

An anti-theft device will sound an alarm when someone tries to open the car without the original key.

Ensure you pack in safe, well-lit, busy areas. Thieves don’t want to be seen when they’re in operation.

2. Always Lock Your Car

Make it hard for thieves.

Typical thieves will not have the intention of actually forcing their way into cars. They simply look for cars that were left unlocked.

3. Remove all valuables in your car

Leaving some valuables can entice a thief to break in.

Ensure you remove any valuables when you’re leaving your car, or at least hide them from being visible especially if you’re staying away for a long period of time.

4. Think of a Window Tint

If thieves can’t see what’s inside or know if someone is still in the car, they may be discouraged from breaking in.

Please follow your state laws if you’re considering tinting your car windows.


Every method of preventing your car or its parts from theft has its weaknesses.

You’re advised to keep your vehicle locked when not in use. Also, ensure all valuables are hidden.

If there is nothing to entice thieves, it is less likely they would want to break into your car.

Want to avoid paying a fortune for a stolen car? Use our stolen car checker to run a VIN Check on every used car you’re considering.

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