I have a friend with an 03 corolla with bad cat. and the cost to replace was over $1000, of course it has 270,000 miles one it. And I had a ford ranger that went bad about 140,000..so yes they do go bad, mine had to replaced....and the corolla is just blow out, so only problem is the check engine light stays one.
I took the cat off my '80 about 3 years ago and replaced it with tight-tuck headers, 2 1/2 inch aluminum exhaust, and Magnaflow mufflers. Absolutely helped performance but I also installed a performance cam, dual plane intake, and 770-cfm Holley carb.
Also, in Ohio, some cars are permanely exempted from ever having an emmisions check.
Several types of vehicles are PERMANENTLY EXEMPT from the E-Check test requirement and do not need a visual inspection. A complete list with a detailed explanation may be found in Ohio Administrative Code, Section 3745-26-12(c). It is not necessary for vehicle owners that are permanently exempt to be issued an exemption certificate. The most common types are listed below.
Vehicles more than 25 years old, as determined by vehicle model year;
Commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating;
Historical and collector's vehicles - contact Ohio BMV for details;
Parade and exhibition vehicles - contact Ohio BMV for details;
Motorcycles, recreational vehicles and motor homes - contact Ohio BMV for details;
Since my car is older than 25 years and I have Collector plates, I qualify for permanent exemption under numbers 1 and 3.
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