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The catalytic converter has no mechanical working parts inside, it is designed to help the flow of harmful gases. There are many reasons a catalytic converter would fail. Sometimes the converter is dented or has a hole in it. Other times, it's a cracked converter neck. Damage like this will cause failure every time. Another reason could be poor installation, where catalytic converter gaskets have not been replaced with the new converter. Fuel and engine additives can cause converter failure, some of these additives are not oxygen-sensor safe. Using the wrong fuel specified for your vehicle will cause the same effect. If your vehicle calls for an 89 octane, then using a 93 octane is bad for your vehicles engine, exhaust system and the catalytic converter.
Restricting the exhaust can cause converter failure. A lot of people will change the factory exhaust with a smaller or even larger exhaust system or tip. The same goes for air injection systems. Ignoring your air filter, ignition parts, such as spark plugs and spark plug wires, can have an effect on your converter. If you take care of your vehicle and stay within the vehicle manufacturer's guidelines for fuels and maintenance, you will find your vehicle performs well.