Engine Light will not turn off

I recently purchased a 2000 Chevy Malibu (91K miles) for my daughter to get back and forth to school. I purchased the car “As Is”. The previous owner stated he spent a lot of money trying to repair the “Engine Light” problem but to no avail. I had the car analyzed and was informed the car needed 1)E.G.R. Tube; 2) E.G.R. Valve; 3) Port Scrub; 4) Reset Computer. The previous owner says he had this work done already and will provide the receipts. In the meantime, I would like you guys to weigh in on what you think the problem could be other than this probably was not a good purchase ($1500).

 That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.  The CEL code did not say  [i] the car needed 1)E.G.R. Tube; 2) E.G.R. Valve; 3) Port Scrub; 4) Reset Computer.[/i]

That is correct. The Data Trouble Code is PO401 - Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected.

IF its true that the prior owner had the tube cleaned out or replaced, AND cleaned or replaced the valve, AND had the ports cleaned out then - I believe - what would be left on the GM system would be the power supply - and maybe the MAP sensor. (The PCM uses the MAP sensor as part of the info for figuring out if the EGR is working).

I don’t know the exact specs but its probably supposed to get a 5V power supply. You’d need to look up the specs (web searches, find a repair manual, use local library’s ALLDATA subscription if available).

If all of that sounds like Greek, find a local shop that has a serious diagnostician for driveability problems and have them check it out.

Who provided this “diagnosis?” B/c it isn’t a diagnosis. Its a guess that tries to cover all of the bases (but misses at least one). Those codes do only tell you where to start for diagnosis. A lot of people find them a reason to do blind guessing about what “parts” to replace or something. Someone who knows what they are doing can actually determine an EGR system problem without having to guess.

Although you bought a car with a “tough to fix by guessing” problem, I still think you got away with a good deal. Wisdom goes both ways if the price is right. We can laugh a little until the price is mentioned but then we see that you are serious about things. I might advise the young people out there to buy things the way you did.

Cigroller ain’t talkin funny when MAP sensor means manifold absolute pressure. He may solve problems on a future “light risk purchase” that I might make some day. Get the spark plugs changed when fixed. They’re ready. There, I got in some actual advice.

You are correct once again! I won’t know the extent of work performed on the car until the previous owner presents the receipts. When I purchased the car I immediately went to have the car smogged at which I was informed that if the engine light is on I will receive an automatic fail. So, I went to the DMV Emissions Lab and spoke with a technician who instructed me to get the car smogged anyway; he stated that the car might not fail and if it did it would at least present a fail code which would give me an idea of what is needed to be repaired, hence the P0401 Code received upon failing the emissions test. So I immediately took the car to a Nevada Authorized G2 Certified repair shop and when I explained I had an Emissions Fail the technician said he would do an analysis after which he presented me with a piece of paper with those E.G.R. items mentioned previously, but I couldn’t help wondering if, in fact, I was given a standard patent answer since apparently this is a common problem that they (emissions lab/car repair shops) see all of the time.

Since the sale of the car was due to a marital break-up I highly doubt he will obtain the receipts so I am being proactive in figuring out what the problem could be w/o having to spend an abundance of money. I seek your help so I can at least learn more about the car and obtain a better idea of how I should be presenting the problem to the repair shop.

Without actually seeing those receipts, I would take the claims of all of those repairs with a grain of salt.
If the guy can’t come up with the receipts then ask him who performed the work. The shop should have their copies on file and this would separate the wheat from the chaff.

It’s fashionable to bash used car salesmen for lying but the point could be made that most of them learned it from the general public, many of whom will flat lie through the teeth when ridding themselves of a vehicle.
You would not believe how many very problematic vehicles get palmed off on dealers every day.

Bonus question just for the heck of it. This car is not still tied up in some way with the divorce is it? No bank or loan company liens, etc.?
If you’re all clear in these areas then I’d say the price is a pretty good one, EGR fault or not.

You have a point. So I guess I won’t hold my breath waiting for recepits. Thank goodness the car is not tied up in the divorce. He and his wife signed off on the title and it is clear. Thank goodness for that!