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Old 08-07-2005, 10:13 PM   #1
sonk_76
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Default Selling a car with a Check-engine-light and failed inspection

My 1999 Camry has failed inspection in Massachussetts because the check-engine-light is on. I am in the process of buying a new car and would like to trade in the said Camry when buying my new car.

Question: Should I fix the check-engine-light and get the car to pass inspection prior to trading it in or selling it?

The issue I see is two fold: One one hand, I feel that trading in a car that has a check-engine-light on AND has failed inspection is a bad idea because the dealer is going to give me a very poor price on the car. (other than the check-engine-light the car runs just fine.)

On the other hand, the cost of repairing the check-engine-light problems is unknown and could amount to several hundred dollars (I hope it would remain below $1000.) But from a human perspective, it feels wrong to be spending any money on a car I am about to sell.

Finally, with regards to any cosmetic issues with the car (dings, etc.) is it once again better that I have these fixed prior to trading in, or should just bring it in as-is?

Thank you for your input!
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:24 PM   #2
iofdetiger
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put electrical tape over the light.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:26 PM   #3
Koua Jones
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Why don't you take it to Autozone (free) so they can read your CE light and tell you what error code you have? Then decide if it is worth getting your car fixed before selling it.
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:32 PM   #4
DrDRum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koua Jones
Why don't you take it to Autozone (free) so they can read your CE light and tell you what error code you have? Then decide if it is worth getting your car fixed before selling it.
12345.

Its not your check engine light thats failing the emmisions test. Its likely (but not certainly) something exhaust related, and chances are an O2 sensor or catalytic converter. Get it fixed. It should be less than $200, and maybe less than $100.

And, if I recall correctly, if you knowingly sell a car that is faulty or purposefully cover something up, you could get taken to court.

Not to mention that little thing called ethics and morals

DRum
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:36 PM   #5
gusto
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im dealing w/ the same issue right now.

get your failed report, and it will have teh CEL codes on it. post them for us or research them online http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes/index.php . youd be suprised how much info you can find and assess the repair costs from those codes. the car im dealing w/ is 02 sensors. simple fix.

trading in is probably the best way to handle it instead of selling privately as i dont think its legal w/ failed insection (or its at least your responsibility to fix)
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:43 PM   #6
chri3
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Remove the lightbulb!!!
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:45 PM   #7
sonk_76
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The OBD codes that were quoted on the inspection failure were:
P0171
P0440
P1133

I did take the car in to get these fixed. They replaced some part (I forget which) after which the check-engine light went off... only to return 50miles later.

I took the car back to the repair shop and they told me that code P1133 was still showing but they didn't have the tools to fully diagnose/repair.

I've been looking on the net for more input on this, but I don't know what to make of the info (i.e. is this easy to fix, and how much would it cost.) Also, I do not know for a fact that the earlier codes (P0171 and P0440) have stopped showing, the repair shopy only commented on P1133 the last time I brought it in.

Thanks to everyone for your input. This is very helpful!
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Old 08-07-2005, 10:53 PM   #8
gusto
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