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How stupid and blind do they think people are?

Check this out

Somebody is selling the truck pictured

He claims it’s in great shape, except for the paint job

But he makes no mention of the abs light and check engine light. The rpm gauge shows the engine is idling, so the lights are definitely not on because of the bulb check operation. There’s definitely a problem

Perhaps he hopes the prospective buyer will not understand what that means

Or maybe he’ll clear the codes before you show up to look at the truck, and hopefully the lights will stay off long enough for you to hand over the cash. If the prospective buyer were to hook up a scanner and find a bunch of incomplete monitors, it’s likely he cleared the codes without fixing the problem

Or maybe he’ll claim “My mechanic claimed the truck only needs some sensors, and they cost less than $100 at Autozone”

Maybe the needed repairs are cheap, such as an oxygen sensor and and a wheel speed sensor

But maybe the needed repairs are a catalytic converter and an ABS hydraulic unit or control unit

What would be worrisome is if the prospective buyer saw the lights on in the ad, understand what that meant, and still went to look at the truck. Let’s say he doesn’t mention lights, then he shows up, the lights are off, and the buyer doesn’t mention them either. That could imply some bad stuff

If someone asked me, I’d advise looking elsewhere.
But the world is full of people who don’t know better. And IMHO Craigslist is to suckers as the earth is to airborne stones. Airborne stones gravitate to the Earth helplessly.
Some one will probably make an offer.

@db4690 you missed the most important part. It’s in Hollywood and we all know they are all clueless people.
It’s probably being sold by a person that is going the green route and that cheating a prospective buyer is fair because they will be buying an electric car after they sell the Dakota.

Seriously, good eye. I read “He claims it’s in great shape, except for the paint job”, then clicked on the link. I was looking at the paint so much I missed what you saw.


Where do they come up with that 163,000 miles on the odometer line on the top right of the ad and one has to wonder what has been attached to that trailer hitch ball on the back…

I guess the Low Fuel lamp being illuminated will discourage someone from test driving it too far and also omitted in the pic along with the fuel gauge is the oil pressure gauge…


I thought it was called Hollyweird . . .

It’s a scary thought, that Carfax might verify the truck has 43K miles, but the ad itself also lists 163K

In this case, I would assume 163K is probably more accurate

An interesting mystery, in any case

Come to think of it, that screen shot of the cluster was probably to “prove” the truck only has 43K. And he’s probably hoping people’s eyes will zero in on that, and not notice the abs light and the check engine light

Am I missing something here? Is it not possible that the guy put the key in the ignition just to take a photo of the odometer, and didn’t start it, causing the bulb check? I’ve see tachs that don’t go back to zero when the engine is off.


Look at the voltmeter

It’s not going to show 14V unless the engine is idling

That is my take on the matter

The mileage “discrepancy” . . . coupled with no mention of the check engine light and the abs light, makes me think this is quite possibly a mystery truck to be avoided

Some people selling cars come by this attitude “honestly”. If he bought the car/truck under a cloud of deception, why not pass it on. I am sure there are people out there we all know who are pretty honest people…until it comes time to dump a car and it’s troubles on someone else. It does make you wonder why, if all these claims are true, why sell the car ?

It’s craigslist, anything could happen alright…

But what if the voltmeter is inaccurate? I’m under the impression these days that they’re dirt cheap, so as long as it moves as the volts go up its considered ok… kind of like temperature gauges that are programmed to go to the middle of the range at operating temps and not move at all unless it overheats.

I just wish my 03 was in that good of shape. I saw little problem with the paint, but it could be the clear coat pealing. That may be what you see on the hood photo…or it’s just glare.

@dagosa is right and people will lie through their teeth to sell a car, knowing that it’s junk or there are serious problems. A friend bought a truck that was supposed be just a simple head gasket. He brought it to me and the engine was seized tighter than…well you know. I couldn’t get that crank to turn a bit. The seller told my friend that it had just happened and that he’d turn it over, but the battery was dead. It was an easy job to pull the head off and there was so much corrosion from the coolant, I figured that the bearings were just as corroded. It had to have been sitting for months like that.


I’ve worked for car dealers and it’s amazing the ends to which some people will go to hide things or lie when trading a car in.
Quite often the dealer didn’t find out until later what kind of serious problems existed with those cars.

Maybe I need to relate that story about the dealer I worked for who took a car in trade and discovered there was no powertrain in it; or much of anything else. :slight_smile:

IMHO the fuel light being on, in conjunction with the others, might indicate the instrument cluster is the issue. Something else that confuses me is that those lights don’t appear to be on in the picture taken from the passenger seat, even though the key appears to be in the “on” position.

This is what you can expect when you buy an old truck, especially a Dodge. There are going to be things wrong with it that the owner didn’t bother to fix. If I were shopping for a used pickup truck at that price, I’d just be happy if there are no dangerous hack repairs.

I think the fuel light is on, because the fuel tank is nearly empty

The rpm gauge showing 700rpm, the voltmeter indicating 14V, and the abs light and the check engine light being on . . . all imply the engine is idling

With all due respect, you guys that think the cluster or the individual gauges might be the problem . . . are giving the seller far more credit than he might deserve

Not to mention the mention the mileage “discrepancy” . . . 163K or 43K?

There are too many “red flags” flying here to even consider buying this truck. It looks nice but the price is absolutely sky high. Besides…it’s listed on craigslist which is an automatic deal breaker for me. The sad thing is…somebody will probably pay him 4K for it and find themselves with a money pit of a pickup truck.

I can’t say I necessarily blame the guy.

I feel that there’s an implicit understanding, when shopping on C/L, that you’re entering an “enhanced caveat emptor zone,” in exchange for a substantially-reduced price, relative to other methods of purchasing.

Treat it like a game of no-limit poker: expect duplicity, and the winner is the one who has the better read on the opponent, the majority of the time. I wouldn’t take it personally, if I were trying to buy this vehicle–and if I actually purchased a vehicle with an open CEL that I failed to diagnose, I’d have nobody to blame but myself if it turned out to be something expensive.

I think in that pic the truck is running and it has some issues. As to mileage discrepancy (and I’m no late model Chrysler guy…) I think the mileage is retained in a cluster module. Maybe the truck has 163k and a 43k cluster was installed along with someone making a mistake in the listing and not catching it.

This would likely pay for itself pretty quickly; especially for some car flippers.

The license plates are also removed. I’ve seen people blot them out in pics or cover them with pasteboard for photography purposes but to remove them entirely?

Wonder what mileages would be shown if a history of CA inspections were to be pulled; and assuming that truck has even spent more than a few weeks of its life in CA.


I think I know why the license plates are removed . . . so that you can’t run a carfax on the plates

If you were able to do that, you might find out something interesting

A few years ago, when I was shopping for a used car, I bought a 1 month carfax subscription. If the plate was visible in the ad, I’d run it. Some really scary information was now available to me, things that weren’t mentioned in the ad

I think the goal is that you can’t run a carfax on the vin or the plates, because they’re not visible in the ad. Hopefully, you’ll contact the guy, and he’ll tell you what a great truck it is, come take a look at it. And maybe he’ll show you a carfax which shows a “clean bill of health” . . . of course the carfax will be from a few months ago, before any of this “funny business” happened

Yes, I believe the mileage is retained in the cluster. I’m no mopar expert, but in our older GM trucks of the same vintage, that’s how it works. A few months ago, a cluster wouldn’t “turn on” at all. I plugged in another cluster, for test purposes. It turned on, and was displaying the mileage of the truck I removed it from

Not leaving your plates on or obscuring them is always a good thing to do and recommended when running adds and at least on that point, I would not hold it against him.

I thought CarFax required a VIN number, not registration plate number. Not every state keeps the plate attached to the car, many states have the plate stay with the owner.