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Check Engine light, valves worn out


Vehicle Information: Year: 97; Body Type: Coupe; Total Mileage: 59000;

As a follow up to the check engine light, thanks for your response. I do not agree with your statement the car was properly valued, fraud aside. I bought it not thinking that I would have to do a valve job right away. If I had gotten 10 to 20K out of it and then the light came on, I would not be nearly as irritated as I am. I paid at the top end of Bruce's evaluation in the June issue. If the market values are the result of people knowing that the cars had a problem lurking, I would have appreciated being let in on the secret. Admittedly, if I had known where to look, I should have known what to look for.My mechanic says the exhaust valves are worn out and sloppy. The valves are still good. The ports were full of coking and that is why the secondary fault code came on.I also now have a letter from the dealer's lawyer that the light was working when they checked the car. So, either they made a mistake and are covering, or the guy I bought it from committed the fraud. I have 2 choices: eat the rebuild or sue the guy that sold me the car. I am pretty irritated to be sold a bill of goods so I am finding a lawyer. Hopefully the guy will come around and offer a settlement.My mechanic called Andial and they are quite familiar with the problem. They say that the OEM guides, even the new ones, will not last as long as they should. They have some guides that they say will last several hundred K miles, so they say. I am replacing all the guides, intake and exhaust. I will let you know how they come out.I think we will be seeing OBD II problems for some time to come. I would like to see the general buying guides start mentioning this problem in the buyer evaluation.Some take aways that I think potential buyers (and sellers) should know: 1)Verify the check engine light works during the evaluation. It should illuminate and extinguish.2)The car will need new valve guides between 40 and 80K miles.3)The computer codes can be reset to erase the check engine light for several key cycles/miles (this duration is not clear to me). Someone who is trying to hide the problem can reset the codes and hope the light will stay off during the evaluation period. I have been told by a Porsche Dealer (not the one I used)that their pre-purchase inspection equipment is not sensitive enough to catch this key-cycle trick. Several state DMV's can and do check to see if the number of key cycles are sufficient. Any purchase agreement should include a guarantee to pass inspection in one's home state.I will keep you posted on my progress.

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