Jeep check engine light - failed MA inspection


#1

My 1995 Laredo (with the straight six engine)had the catalytic converter replaced last year. Not a mile down the road, the check engine light came on (it had not previously). I was unable to return to the dealership at that time, and a year went by, and now it’s failed the N02 inspection and I have a big “R” sticker on my windshield. The computer said replace the 02 sensor. I’m told that the computer in this model was pretty primitive, and such an indication could mask a number of other problems. I am trying to sell this car, and I am caught in the “nickle-and-dimed to death” conundrum. If I have a new sensor put in, what might be the likelihood of its’ solving my problem? It has 208K, runs well if slightly rough, consumes no oil, starts up fine, and runs just fine whether the light is on or not.



And in Mass, can I sell the car with the caveat that it didn’t pass inspection, and it’s on the buyer to make it so?



thanks for any help


#2

Mass used car laws are very tough. If the car does not pass inspection you can return for full cash refund or buyer makes it right within 7 days. I had a private seller(jerk) try and pull this on me. It let me to buying new car after that experience.

Do not be unethical and price accordingly or fix it.


#3

I was unable to return to the dealership at that time, and a year went by

I realize you did not ask, but waiting a year is a bad idea. First you may have been able to have it correct at no charge if you went back promptly and second with the light one, you would not know if a second perhaps serious problem came up or if that light was due to a different problem.


#4

Why do you want to, “…have a new sensor put in”? Have you troubleshot the problem down to a faulty sensor? If you haven’t, that’s an expensive assumption.
Just replacing the catalytic converter, last year, didn’t fix the problem. It just masked it, for a while. Find a mechanic, or shop, who know how to do more than just replace parts.


#5

Thank you for your reply. My question was asking whether informing the buyer and pricing accordingly would be a possible way of selling the car at all, or whether presuming that an informed buyer getting a car cheap would work out or whether I would be risking unending trouble for myself. It sounds as if I should just junk it, although it’s a shame; someone with some mechanical skills willing to follow the diagnostic trail would get a nice beach truck, or an around-town vehicle. I don’t know whether MA law would allow such a situation.


#6

Thanks for your response. Since the diagnostic computer said to replace the 02 sensor, my question was whether anyone has had experience with this process of tracking down the cause of the “check engine” light coming on in a Jeep this old, with what I have been told is a rather rudimentary self-diagnostic system. The light comes on about 3 minutes after starting the car, whether started cold or hot. The light did not come on before I replaced the cat. The only other thing, that may not be connected, is that cruise control drops out after a mile or so. I do wish I’d had the wherewithal to return to the dealer and (pay for) tracking down the cause of the problem then, but I was told, when I called in from the road, that I would be charged for finding out what was wrong, as replacing the cat is just replacing the cat, and any resulting diagnostics would incur a charge.

It doesn’t sound as if I’ll be able to make this car ready for sale without spending much more than I’d recoup.


#7

The DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes) do NOT tell you to replace a component. When are “mechanics” going to learn that? The clue to the function of the codes is in the name: diagnostic. Further diagnostic test, on the coded component CIRCUIT, have to be performed before a repair action can be decided upon. Anything else is a crap-shoot.
There are independent shops which are as qualified (or, more qualified) to repair your Jeep, as the dealer. You owe it to yourself to find one.