Catalytic converter

I was told I need a converter when the engine light came on. At the dealer the tech. said code ecm ta-3 way cat converter efficiency fault. Performed available vems software upgrade. If code returns replacing cat converter at $1110. I have 154,000 miles. The engine light has not come on since 4/10/10. Does driving hurt the engine. Also heard that if the converter is bad driving the car the car will stop while driving. I plan a trip to Ohio in Aug that is about 600 miles one way.

Driving on a bad cat may or may not hurt the engine, depending on the problem. If it is just below the efficiency threshold and it isn’t blocked at all, you’ll likely be fine driving it, though gas mileage may suffer. If the light hasn’t come on since 4/10/10, I would guess that you’re simply not at proper efficiency. A blocked cat would still be throwing codes at you (and you’d notice the performance problem). The other thing to rule out would be to see if its substrate is broken up - no real easy way to guaranteee that, but if you hit the cat with your hand and you don’t hear rattles, it may be fine there.

BTW, you can get a direct fit catalytic converter at for your car for just $221.79, so long as you don’t live in California