Q: What kind of damage can a bad catalytic converter do to my vehicle?

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I was told that I have a bad catalytic converter and engine light is on, rattling nose, constantly pumping gas. How can it effect my engine? I was told it would cost over $2000 to fix it. Can I fix it myself? I started noticing that it has a hard time going up hills and my vehicle seems to get hot faster ( fogging windows).

My car has 200000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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