Buyer’s Guide: Catalytic Converter Shields For 5th Gen 4Runner

Cali Raised LED Catalytic Converter Shields For 5th Gen 4Runner

Buyer’s Guide: Top 5 Catalytic Converter Guards For The 5th Gen (2010-2024) 4Runner – Protect Your Vehicle Against Damage, Theft & Expensive Repairs

As of recent, catalytic converter theft has increased all over the country. Unfortunately, this type of theft has become almost inevitable without additional protection. If this happens to you, you could end up spending thousands of dollars to replace your catalytic converter.

Thankfully, there are a few different catalytic converter shields available for your 5th Gen 4Runner. This buyer’s guide will cover all of those options with regard to price, features, and protection level.

What Are Catalytic Converters?

5th Gen 4Runner Catalytic Converter Shields - What Are Catalytic Converters?

Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system. They help convert harmful pollutants from an internal combustion engine into less harmful substances. More specifically, harmful pollutants such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides are converted into less harmful carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water vapor. It is a crucial component for meeting emissions standards and reducing air pollution.

Catalytic converters are made using precious metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. The increasing value of these metals has made catalytic converters a hot commodity throughout the country. This is driving thieves to steal and sell them for scrap.

While the 4Runner isn’t a prime target (yet), hybrid vehicles are less fortunate. Their catalytic converters have higher standards for cleaner emissions and thus contain a higher concentration of precious metals, making them even more valuable.

What Are Catalytic Converter Shields?

Cat Shield For 5th Gen 4Runner

If you’re looking to protect your catalytic converter, investing in a shield is a great option. Not only will it protect your vehicle from potential theft, but it will also protect it from all other elements in normal and off-road driving.

Depending on the shield, it may seem like a pricey investment, ranging from  around $180 – $400 for the 4Runner. However, that is a fraction of the cost of replacing a stolen catalytic converter. Plus, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get it replaced immediately, as manufacturers may be having a hard time keeping up with demand.

What Types Of Shields Are Available?

5th Gen 4Runner Custom Catalytic Converter Shield

There are a few different types of shield options that are on the market. They comprise of shields (which we talk about in this post) and skid plates. Let’s take a look at what is available.

Skid Plates

Skid plates are a popular upgrade for many 4Runners who off-road and overland, and they offer increased protection to your vehicle’s undercarriage. Specifically, major components such as the engine, transmission, and fuel tank. They help support the vehicle’s overall durability and help prevent costly repairs down the road.

Many manufacturers make skid plates that also cover the catalytic converter. If you are already thinking of investing in a full set of skid plates and don’t want to leave your cat exposed, make sure to check out a set that will cover everything or be ready to add a skid plate compatible set, like Cali Raised.

Catalytic Converter Shields

Catalytic converter shields are a great option for those who are only looking to add protection to their catalytic converter. If you’re content with the factory skid plates and don’t need all the extra weight of a full skid plate setup, these shields could be a great option.

Note: Please make sure to check your fitment. Not all shields fit every 4Runner year and drivetrain.

1. Cali Raised LED

Cali Raised LED Catalytic Converter Shield For 4Runner

Find It Online: 

Pros: 

  • Bolt-on installation
  • Works with Cali Raised LED and other skid plates on the market
  • Security hardware included

Cons: 

  • Fitment is only for 4WD 4Runners
  • Bare finish only (Stainless Steel)

Cali Raised LED’s catalytic converter shield is a great option for those who looking to protect their 2014 – 2023 4Runner’s catalytic converter. It is a high-quality shield at an affordable price point. The shields are laser cut, CNC bent, and made from American 12-Gauge 304 brushed stainless steel. Stainless steel is a great option for shields as it provides more durability due to its strength over aluminum.

There are ventilation holes throughout the shield to provide adequate heat dissipation without impacting its integrity.

Installation is very straightforward. With the kit, you’ll receive the security hardware and everything is 100% bolt-on. That means you won’t have to worry about any welding or additional modifications. As a plus, it works with the majority of the skid plates on the market, including the 4Runner’s factory skid plates.

2. MillerCAT

MillerCAT Cat Shield 4Runner

Find It Online: 

Pros:

  • Bolt-on installation
  • KDSS, Non-KDSS, and X-REAS compatible
  • Aluminum or stainless steel
  • Works with TRD skid plates
  • Tamper-proof hardware

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other options
  • Will not work with lift kits that modify the chassis cross-member

MillerCat specializes in creating cat shields for all different vehicles, including 2014-2023 4Runners.

This brand stands out because of its compatibility to work with all types of 4Runner trim levels including KDSS and even the XREAS suspension found in the Limited and Sport trims.

You can choose between a 16-gauge 304 stainless steel or 12-gauge 5052 aluminum. Again, there’s an option for everyone.

The only downside is that this shield will not work with any lift kits that modify the chassis cross-member. It is also very expensive compared to other available options.

3. Cat Security

Cat Security Catalytic Converter Shield For 5th Gen 4Runner

Find It Online: 

Pros:

  • Bolt-on installation
  • Three-piece design for maximum protection
  • Integrates seamlessly with your existing chassis

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Not advertised to fit 2023 models
  • Fitment is only for 4WD 4Runners

The Cat Security cat guard is another great option for 2010 – 2022 4Runners!

The design is a bit different than other options on the market. It is a three-piece design that allows for maximum protection from all sides. It was also designed with a precise fit to ensure a seamless installation. Unlike other cat shields, the logo placement and size give smog technicians a clear view for authenticating your catalytic converters. The main shield is made from a 1/8″ solid aluminum plate and has holes for adequate ventilation.

Easy bolt-on installation ensures a smooth installation of the shield and doesn’t require any welding.

The only downside is that the shield is only offered for 4×4 models. If you have a 2WD 4Runner, this is not an option for you.

4. RCI Off-Road

RCI Off-Road Catalytic Converter Shield | 03-Present 4Runner

Find It Online: 

Pros: 

  • Bolt-on installation
  • Vented design for adequate airflow & heat dissipation
  • Comes either Raw or Powder Coated
  • Fits 2003 – 2023 4Runners

Cons: 

  • Requires RCI Transmission Skid Plate

RCI Off-Road is another great catalytic converter shield option. It is the least expensive out of all of the options without compromising quality. These shields are CNC laser cut from 1/4″ aluminum.

They are designed to bolt on directly to your 4Runner’s RCI skid plate and provide adequate airflow and heat dissipation through the slotted vent design.

The only catch is that they can only be installed on the RCI transmission skid plate. This means you will need to purchase that skid plate to install these specific shields. Paired together, however, will give you seamless protection for your underbody.

5. All Precision & Custom

Custom Catalytic Converter Shield For 5th Gen 4Runner In Black With TRD Logo

Find It Online: 

  • All Precision and Custom Catalytic Converter Cover: Check Price

Pros:

  • Bolt-on installation
  • Come powder coated
  • OEM look w/ TRD badging

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to other options

All Precision and Custom are a newer business at only 2 years old. However, the owners have 25 years of experience with precise cutting, punching, CNC, and forming, making them a great option to consider.

My favorite part of this particular cat shield is the OEM look that it has with the TRD badging. This is a small detail that many other manufacturers do not consider. While it doesn’t provide any additional benefits, it’s still pretty cool.

As with all of the other options on the market, this is a bolt-on shield that provides a precise fit. It is made from strong 14ga CRS and black powder coated for rust resistance. The added cutouts allow for airflow and heat dissipation for your catalytic converters.

It is one of the pricier options available, but it does include powder coating.

Final Thoughts

Stainless Steel Catalytic Converter Shield For 5th Gen 4Runner With 4WD

There were more than 150,000 catalytic converters stolen last year alone, and that number is not going to stop. With the increased value of the precious metals found in catalytic converters as well as the economic crisis our country is facing, many people are resorting to theft.

If you want to deter this type of theft, buying a catalytic converter shield will be your best bet. However, I will note that these are not full-proof. They are mainly a deterrent as it makes theft more difficult, but not impossible.

At the end of the day, a cat shield will provide more protection than not having one at all, especially if your 4Runner is lifted and your catalytic converters are easier to access.

As an added benefit, you know that your catalytic converters will be safe both on and off the trails!

If you’ve recently purchased one of these cat shields, let us know below! We would love to hear what you think and why you chose that specific shield.

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Gary
Gary
1 month ago

Cali Raised website notes on the cat shields for 4Rs no longer say anything about KDSS incompatibility. Only XREAS.

felix
felix
4 months ago

I got Cali raised cat guards do not seem to me like a real protection!

Sterling
Sterling
7 months ago

If all examples have a con of “more expensive than other options,” what are the other options?

danno
danno
7 months ago

i put talon’s garage on my 2021… solid piece! highly recommend.

Dennis
Dennis
8 months ago

If you go on their website and expand the description, there is a disclaimer that they don’t fit with XREAS or KDSS. As i said below, this is because they haven’t tested them in house for fitment and won’t guarantee they fit. Doesn’t mean they won’t.

Kevin C
Kevin C
8 months ago

Not sure where the talk about the CaliRaised guards don’t work with KDSS came from? Can confirm they fit fine.

Last edited 8 months ago by Kevin C
Stefan
Stefan
7 months ago
Reply to  Kevin C

Kevin, when you installed the guards, was anything close to the KDSS system?
It must be a reason they list that it will not fit.

Josh H
Josh H
8 months ago

Bought the CaliRaised guards but nowhere did it mention not being KDSS compatible?! Is this true? There are two conflicting replies on this thread. Thanks!

Ohdanielson
Ohdanielson
8 months ago

Talons Garage also sells cat guard for the 5th gen 4Runner.

Clayton
Clayton
8 months ago

RSG’s skid plates also include cat guard protection in their design. An additional plate mounts to the back of the cross member using existing and supplied bolts to limit access from the rear. Solid!

felix
felix
4 months ago
Reply to  Marie Dubray

RCI is listed and is a skid plate whit cat guards!

Dennis
Dennis
8 months ago

I was also looking at Cali Raised, but have KDSS. I contacted them and was told that several of their customers with KDSS have installed them with no problems, but their engineers haven’t tested this yet to verify so I guess it’s try at your own risk. My concern with some of the others is, how does this affect accessibility for maintenance like oil changes and propeller shaft lubrication. It would be a pain to have to remove them for routine maintenance.

Clayton
Clayton
8 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

Cat guards shouldn’t affect oil changes as they’re outboard of the oil pan and drain plug access and the picture of the Miller plates in the write-up looks like it uses the same mount locations as the stock skid plate. Accessing your prop shaft typically requires lowering or removing your aftermarket skids regardless though.

Sergio
Sergio
8 months ago

Thanks for the write up. I was going to buy the Cali Raised but found that it was not compatible with KDSS. Are all the others you talk about compatible?

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