Smog check failed by MIL/function failure

Hi, I have '98 Honda Accord (4 cyl) with 100000mil. Smog check failed as MIL was on and indicating Functional Failure/Fail code: Catalytic converter failure. The mechanic told me that I have to replace
catalytic converter. I knew MIL was on awhile but Honda service person told me before that they just forgot to reset, mistaking it with maitenance lamp.
I was ready to go to the mechanic to have it fixed but yestarday MIL lamp magically turned off by itself after it was on nearly a year. It was on for long time since I didn't know that it was something I needed to have it checked. I tried turned off/on engine, and I see it blink for a second when the enginer is turned on. But it goes off after that. Is this something I can assume the car is ok now? Please let me know if anyone has experience like this.
Thanks -d
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WHAT'S THE NUMERIC CODE???? Jeez people, you're told a code, cough it up!

WHAT'S THE NUMERIC CODE???? P0420? Something else? What is this, some kinda secret?
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TeGGeR wrote:

year", then stopped...
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There is a girl with whom I work. She has a '99 Civic and she too has been driving around with her MIL on for a good year. I keep telling her she won't pass smog with it on and she just says, "Oh, I'll deal with it when the time comes. The car's running fine...".
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TeGGeR wrote:

the thing is, people worry about the cost of repair and don't realize something like this is actually costing them considerably worse gas mileage and therefore money to /not/ fix, plus, they're experiencing increased rates of engine wear. but hey, it's not my car and it's not my money.
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Fault Codes was P0420: Cat Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
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http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/p0420.html
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Thanks for the info. The web site explained well.
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