How common is it for a catalytic converter to have to be replaced? on 2000 Honda Civic

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There was a recall on the catalytic converter when my 2000 Honda Civic was about three years old. Mine was replaced then. A few months ago the amber engine light came on, and the dealer said it's because the converter is cracked. I was not shown where the crack is.They want more than $600 to replace it. I also needed a timing belt at the time, so I got that done first. They said the converter could wait a couple months. It has now been 8 months and the amber light is still on.Now I would like to get a second opinion but one place wants to charge $80 just to look at it. Any suggestions?
(2) Answers
Have the codes pulled by a shop here after a scan is performed they can give you a estimate for repairs and then check prices here
I took my catalytic converter off my 2000 Civic and put on headers. It seems to me that I got a little more power in it. The only thing about it is that my engine light is on.