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Is it ******* to sell a car in Minnesota with the service engine light disabled??

I bought my 2003 Cadillac Deville at a dealership, who also has an on-site shop. The 2nd day after I bought the car, the car died on me while driving, with no engine light on, causing me to lose my power steering and nearly getting into an accident! I had the car towed to a shop. At the shop, I had the map sensor & idle air control motor replaced, & a few other minor things, totaling $1000. The shop said someone disabled the engine light. The check engine light is still not fixed; the shop said they need to remove the dash to get to the bulb they said was removed but how do they know the bulb was removed if they haven't torn out the dash?? Or, does any of the work above involve tearing out the dash? I don't know who to trust!! I'm going to take the car to another shop recommended by a friend, & have them check everything.

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  • Cadillac Master
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Clearly you lost your steering power assistance because the engine stopped...

It is a shame you spent all that money because after only two days of ownership the dealer who sold you the car, depending on how it was advertised, could have been responsible and perhaps could still be responsible.

If the car was presented as being a good, normal used car that is without any particular faults and you bought it on the understanding that it was road legal and fit for the purpose you wanted it for, that in other words the car was "of merchantable quality" and as it transpired the car was definitely not of merchantable quality and probably wasn't even road legal, the dealer was in clear breach of the contract you made with him.

Saying we buy stuff is not really correct. What we actually do is make a contract with a vendor who agrees to give you the stuff in return for a consideration (money). With big things like houses the contract is formal and there are few assumptions as everything is written down in small print. With ordinary stuff the small print is assumed - like expecting a can of peaches to be full of nice, fresh and tasty peaches or like expecting a car bought from a professional to be fit for the road and legal - of merchantable quality.

The engine check light is a necessary part of the electronic engine management and emission control system. If the engine check light isn't working then the emission control could be polluting the atmosphere and you wouldn't know you was committing an offence. The dealer was clearly in breach of his contract with you and should pay but getting the money could be difficult...

Posted on May 17, 2017

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  • Cadillac Master
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The check engine light does not have anything to do with your power steering pump going out, checking fluid levels helps a lot. I trust mechanics that hand you an OBDII scan print out to back up their repair recommendations. After looking at the print out, Delete stored faults and scan again so any stored faults will be current. Let the current scan be your guide to repairs. I hope your friends shop has a Snap-On 3000 Diagnostic scan tool. Can the first shop prove the map and idle air motor was bad, your car is too new for those kind of problems.

Posted on May 17, 2017

Testimonial: "I plan to have the new shop check to see if the map sensor and idle air control motor are both new, that i had supposedly replaced at the other shop. Also, to have the engine light fixed. I'm not driving the car -- a few weeks after i parked the car, the battery went dead. I might check out the battery, or have the car towed to my friend's shop, and I will get honest feedback."

  • Joe Stanton Jul 10, 2017

    If the battery is more than 3 yrs. old, replace it

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