Catalytic Converter on 1997 Hyundai Elantra

Will A catalytic converter cause a car to overheat or engine failure at all? I'm looking at buying a car in a town about 200 miles from me, I'll replace the tires and have a tune up in the town where I am buying it, but the town is substantially smaller then my own and will charge A LOT more to do the work and for parts then my own city will, Is it safe to drive with a failing converter?

Asked by for the 1997 Hyundai Elantra
I don't know what state you live in but I live in MA and have a 1997 Hyundai Elantra 1.8l. In MA after the vehicle is 15 years old the State(Service Stations)no longer checks vehicles for Emissions. Thats what I said! You still need to get a sticker yearly but after a certain age the Emission Test is no longer done. Good Luck!
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As long as the cat isn't clogged up, you can still drive it. Be advised that this can keep it from passing inspection and thus render the car unusable in other ways - namely not legal to drive it. That's assuming that your version doesn't have the combo exhaust manifold/catalytic converter. I'm currently dealing with that on a 2006 Elantra and the dual cat system is very expensive to fix - nearly $700 in parts alone.