Toyota Corolla 97

I recently have test drove a used 97 Toyota Corolla Automatic. Right away I noticed that the check engine light was on. The salesman that road with me said “It’s probably just on because the O2 sensor, but he wasn’t aware that it was on before my test drive”. When we were done he took my name so that he could check out the problem with his mechanic and call me to let me know what the light came on for. He seem very eager to sell me a car and said he would call right away when he knew. A week passed and I drove by the lot and saw the car still sitting there, so I called them and asked what the problem was. The salesman then stumbled on his words and said that the check engine light came on “Because the car got flooded” and thats about all his stumbling said. He also said that the light isn’t on any more since he disconnected the battery and it hasn’t came back on. I have tried to search on Google and could not find this as a reason that a light would come on. This all sounded really suspicious and I doubt I will even go back to this small lot. So, does anyone know if this is possible? Also, once you clear the codes is there anyway to get them back again?

Don’t go back! Whoever told you this stuff is lying through his teeth. Find another car on a more reputable lot.

There are DOZENS of reasons why the CEL may have been on. A bad O2 sensor is just one possibility. The only way to tell is to scan the computer. Disconnecting the battery is a trick. He was hoping the light would stay off long enough to sell the car.

The light will come on again soon, and the new owner will have to deal with it. You can’t fix a problem by turning off the light. You fix whatever is causing the light to come on. It could be something simple, and it could be something really expensive.

Stay away from this dealer.

Once the codes, on a 1990s vehicle, are erased, they are gone for good. If the problem is still there, by and by (sometimes after a few “trips”, the check engine light will come back on.
One can’t prove that there is any intention to repair the car. I would steer clear of this “deal”.

Yes. Anytime the Check Engine light comes on, the codes are stored in the History Code in the computers memory. So a scanner can be connected and retrieve the history codes to see what occured in the past that caused the Check Engine light to come on.


History codes in a '90s era OBDII? (That thing on the end is a question mark (not, an exclamation mark).)

With the proper scanner, you can pull history codes.


Thanks for all your help and info!