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Can i sell a car that won't pass inspection?


Hello, i have a minivan which won’t pass inspection. O2 sensor and catalayic converter need replacing. I wanted to find out if i can sell this as is and is there a max price that i have to abide by if doing so since it won’t pass?

Be absolutely up front with the buyer and you might sell it. When they know it’s a fixer-upper and they agree to the price in relation to that…sell.

Sell it as is…If you are NOT up front with the buyer…it’s FRAUD. Not passing inspection could result in a much lower price.

Also…make sure the catalytic converter is really bad. I’d replace the O2 sensor(s) and see if that doesn’t clean up the codes. Many times a catalytic converter is misdiagnosed because of the O2 sensor.

Whenever I’m looking at a used car, and it doesn’t have a current inspection, I pretty much assume that it won’t pass for some reason. Sadly, lots of sellers aren’t as honest as you, and try and present the car as tip-top. In either case though, I look at it as -buyer beware-. If the buyer is foolish enough to buy a car w/ expired inspection, then it’s on them.
With that said, an honest seller is always appreciated, and as a buyer, I’m more likely to work with them and their price- even if the vehicle does have some issues. Do like MikeInNH says, and replace the O2 sensors first- and keep the receipt to show prospective buyers. Even if that doesn’t clear up the code, it’s one less thing I -as the buyer- have to worry about troubleshooting if I do buy the van.

In some states, it is ultimately the seller’s responsibility for the vehicle to pass. Even then, there are ways to change ownership without additional liability. For instance, you may be able to sell the car for parts only and bypass the requirement. Appropriately documenting the transfer is important to avoid issues down the road. It all depends on the laws where you live, which you didn’t provide. In any case, you’ll take a bath on the price and it will likely be more expensive in the long run compared to what you might get if everything were in order.

If you are in the state of MA, the buyer can ask you to pay for repairs or 100% refund with return of vehicle within short term period.

Check your state laws.

The costs could be high if those parts are really defective and have to be replaced, AND, diagnosis and repair of the causes of the codes have to be done. The sale price would have to be reduced accordingly.
The oxygen sensors, and catalytic converter codes are the results of the problems. You have a “fire sale” on your hands.

thanks for all the great feedback. I am in massachusetts and i may try fixing the o2 sensor… i’ll have to see… but the thing is that i wondered if you sell a car that won’t pass and are required to sell it under a certain amount? Someone told me i would have to sell for under 2,000.00 Does anyone know about this?

If you think you can sell it, then fix the oxygen sensor and get the inspection sticker. You always get top dollar for a car that passes inspection. All the new owner has to do is register it and drive. If the cost to fix it is too high compared to the expected sales price, give it away.

Read this- http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=ocaterminal&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Business&L2=Autos+%26+Transportation&sid=Eoca&b=terminalcontent&f=the_lemon_aid_law&csid=Eoca

Pay attention to the section regarding liability limits for emissions defects.

A haphazard approach, by just changing some parts, is no assurance that you will even remove the symptoms of the problem(s).
Get the reasoning, or at least the trouble code, from the “mechanic”. If you go to an auto parts store, they will read the trouble codes, for free. Bring those codes (example: P0420) here for advice.
Oh, yeah, tell us the particulars of your minivan (year, make, model, sub-model, engine size). Also, tell us the symptoms of problems the engine is having.