2000 Mazda Protege

Engine problem
2000 Mazda Protege 6 cyl Wheel Drive Type unknown Automatic 95000 miles

My engine light came on Jan. 2007 and I immediatly took it to the Mazada dealership, they told me it was the O2 sensor and I would have to pay ~500.00 bucks to fix it. (Didnt have the money, besides the car was running fine) So I waited until June and took it to another Mazada dealership (engine light still on) and they said it was the catalytic converter and it would cost the same to fix it. I dont know whether I should fix it or not. There are only two problems with the car 1. The defrost takes forever to work bec. The vents unter the front widshield hardly blow air and 2. The car 'hesitates' when I try to take off quickly (it dosent have much 'power'). Is it really the catalytic converter and if it is, should I wait until it starts smelling to get it fixed?
January 24, 2008.

Get the computer scanned for code/s at Autozone and comeback with it, this is where we start

Jan 25, 2008.
Those Mazdas had big problems with the cats. Since you are under 100k miles I would go to the dealer and let them know that you are aware of the issues with the cat converter with these cars and yours needs to be replaced. Changing the o2 sensor will make no difference. The cat is falling apart/melting internally, that is why it is slow to accelerate. Might have to be a relly sqeeky wheel to get the grease, but it beats spending a grand

Jan 25, 2008.