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Dilemma: The Check Engine goes on just before you're ready to trade. What to do?

OldWhiteChevy

Member
41
11
8
So after researching and test driving for the past several months, with my old Cruze in pretty decent shape I finally decided that it's time to do this: I've found several dozen Encores in the right color(s) with the right options....and my old car's check engine light goes on -- steady, fortunately -- and it starts running rough at idle, like it's missing on one cylinder. Argh!!!!

My problem: If I go to negotiate a trade deal with a dealer, do I just accept the hit that I'm going to take if they start it up and notice the roughness and CEL? Or should I attempt to get it fixed? I'm wondering which way out will cost me the least. Anybody want to take a guess, based on your own car buying experiences?

(Yes, I did try the obvious of checking the fuel cap, and I went to an auto parts store where they scanned it with their OBD checker. It spit out a whole bunch of codes, so apparently this isn't as simple as a loose fuel cap).
 

Steveyo

Member
79
22
8
Buick Ownership
2019 Buick Encore
So after researching and test driving for the past several months, with my old Cruze in pretty decent shape I finally decided that it's time to do this: I've found several dozen Encores in the right color(s) with the right options....and my old car's check engine light goes on -- steady, fortunately -- and it starts running rough at idle, like it's missing on one cylinder. Argh!!!!

My problem: If I go to negotiate a trade deal with a dealer, do I just accept the hit that I'm going to take if they start it up and notice the roughness and CEL? Or should I attempt to get it fixed? I'm wondering which way out will cost me the least. Anybody want to take a guess, based on your own car buying experiences?

(Yes, I did try the obvious of checking the fuel cap, and I went to an auto parts store where they scanned it with their OBD checker. It spit out a whole bunch of codes, so apparently this isn't as simple as a loose fuel cap).
I think you'll usually take a hit from the dealer no matter what, and even if your Cruze needs some work, the dealer has the mechanics and tools at hand to quickly make the needed repairs, provided that their scanner tool doesn't cough up some very serious codes indicating the need for extensive and expensive repairs. I think the general consensus is that one can usually get more for one's vehicle by selling it privately than by trading it to a dealer for another car, but going the dealer route is much more convenient and less risky. Your negotiating skill is probably more important than anything else. As already mentioned, the codes are important to know no matter which path you choose.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
2,818
845
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Depending on code you may try and reset it just long enough to make it through a dealer inspection. Dealers dump POS on buyers all the time and if it's a problem it's off to auction.
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OldWhiteChevy

Member
41
11
8
I think you'll usually take a hit from the dealer no matter what, and even if your Cruze needs some work, the dealer has the mechanics and tools at hand to quickly make the needed repairs, provided that their scanner tool doesn't cough up some very serious codes indicating the need for extensive and expensive repairs. I think the general consensus is that one can usually get more for one's vehicle by selling it privately than by trading it to a dealer for another car, but going the dealer route is much more convenient and less risky. Your negotiating skill is probably more important than anything else. As already mentioned, the codes are important to know no matter which path you choose.
I'd like to sell it privately but as you say, it's a lot more convenient to trade.

What I'm thinking:
(1) A dealer probably expects a nearly 8-year-old car to have problems and is no doubt taking that into account when they appraise it
(2) As you say, the dealer has the resources to put things in order.
(3) I'm thinking that it shouldn't be too difficult to negotiate something, considering that they have plenty of '19s on their lot, in colors that are acceptable and with the options I'm looking for (Preferrred, FWD, Safety Pkg).

Thanks for your reply, and wish me luck! :)
 

OldWhiteChevy

Member
41
11
8
Post the codes and depending on what they are the dealer may lower the value of the car.
The codes were P0171, P1101 and one other one having to do with the MAP sensor, all of which seem common on Cruzes, according to the research I've been doing online. It sounds as though the culprit is either PCV or a vacuum leak somewhere.
 

Steveyo

Member
79
22
8
Buick Ownership
2019 Buick Encore
Yes, the dealer should be familiar with those codes by now and be able to perform the repairs in short order. So good luck with the negotiations!
 
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