Do I fix a truck I am going to sell?

Hi there fellow cartalkians, I am planning on selling my 1996 Toyota Tacoma 2WD. The engine light came on awhile ago and I took it in and the mechanic said that it needed a new catylidic converter, and would cost $500…yikes. The Kelley blue book on it in fair condition is $1795 and the good condition estimate is $2100. It doesn’t seem worth it to do the repair but will it be necessary to sell it? It really does run great and we would keep it except that I now have a toddler that cannot ride in it and we cannot keep three cars.

Get another opinion. Often the replacement of much less expensive sensors will correct the operation of the catalytic converter. There is NO code that says “replace catalytic converter.”

You’ll have a really hard time selling the truck unless you figure out why the CEL is on and fix it. I don’t know anyone who will buy a used vehicle with its CEL on.

If you relayed this story to me as a buyer, then $1000 minimum off my offer disappears immediately, because I know I will have to fix it and I don’t really know if $500 will do the job. . There are some issues that might be deferred, but a CEL is not one of them.

It might not need a catalytic converter. Get a second opinion.

I would sell it as it is, and offer a $500 discount. Replacing the catalytic converter might not make the “check engine” light go away. You could spend $500 for nothing.

As the others said, get at least one more opinion. BTW, what codes were tripped?

I’d fix it if I wanted to sell it. All cars in MD must pass a safety inspection before they can be registered. I would want to remove anything in the way of the purchase. With an inspection certificate in hand, the buyer can just head off to the DMV and get his plates. Without the certificate, he will have to fix whatever you tell him is wrong and quite likely more. If you don’t have a safety inspection, you might consider selling it as-is. But expect a hefty premium for thet catalytic converter and whatever else is wrong, too.