Well, I guess I have been told. Of course the actual benefits of the reduction in pollutants by a cat is another discussion. Also I know of many older cars on the road that run around without them, because they never had one. I think our local Aluminium plant gives off much more toxins than me driving around in the toullies every so often. But thanks for the input.
My local Saab dealer here in S-Wales, UK recons that they have never needed to change a CAT, although the number of older cars they service is obviously limited because of the expensive labour rates. Point is, they normally work for ages!
I have just had a straight-through 'stainless' exhaust fitted to my 98 Anniversary, and didn't notice any improvement in the ecconomy, as is usuall with a straight-through. So I guess that the CAT adds enough backpressure so as to make any improvement in flow due to a straight through system (post CAT) negligable. So point number 2 is removal of the CAT should improve fuel ecconomy as well as performance, due to reduction in backpressure!
But removal of the CAT won't help reduce Greenhouse gases (unless it is worn out), which multiplied by all the vehicles in the world, means a lot of polution... and this is ADDITIONAL to any local Alluminium plants! So the recommmendation is get it tested (when convienient) and replace it, unless you really want a little extra ecconomy/performance, or your bank balance can't handle the cost of a new one!
Paul is right - If you gut the Cat or replace with a "straight-through" section then your performance/economy will be improved depending on your driving style. However. Cars registered in the Ununited Kingdom (No mistake there - How many parliaments are there in the UK?) after around 1992 (Not sure of the exact date) MUST have a CAT fitted. The UK MOT Test changes in 2002 & amongst other things the regs around a CAT & emissions will be tightened up even more. However, as your car is pre this year I'm sure gutting the CAT will not prove a problem when it comes to future MOTs as long as your engine & peripheral systems are in good or better condition. DON'T worry about pollution. All this talk about Cars & the green house effect is highly over-rated. It's a ploy governments around the world use to bully people into thinking they are bad people driving their cars & polluting the world. As another post suggests in this thread, the industrial revolution is more to blame than any car/lorry or whatever other vehicle you might drive. Gut the cat or better still get a straight through pipe. That way when it comes to emmisions testing, any failure can be resolved easily enough by re-fitting the CAT for the test. ) Mal.