Is It Illegal to Remove Check Engine Light

At one point of driving, we all have wondered about what happens if you remove the check engine light, or is it illegal to remove the check engine light. No doubt, each of the lights and indicators in the car is important for the driver.

These indicators tell the drive for the updated performance of the vehicle and if you need to refill the oil tank, or other such things. Therefore, you cannot deny the importance of the check engine light.

However, if we talk about the laws and legalities about removing check engine light, it’s not legal in many states. In this article you will find out several more layers related to checking engine light and its importance in cars, in view of legalities.

Is removing CEL illegal before Selling the car?

When you talk about laws of vehicles be it about side view mirrors or checking engine light removal, the answer depends on which state you are talking about. For instance, there are some states in which removing the check engine light before selling the car comes as an illegal approach and it’s taken as fraudulent concealment.

Removing CEL before selling the car means that you are potentially hiding some underlying issue with the car engine and therefore it’s illegal to remove the check engine light when you want to sell your car.

What will happen if I remove the check engine light?

Check the engine light to tell you the performance of the engine while you drive the car. The blinking and flashing of the CEL is an instant alarm about what’s happening with your vehicle. 

So when you remove it, you will no longer be able to know about your car engine performance and the problem may get even worse. Therefore, it’s not suggested to remove them in the car.

Removing the check engine light comes with serious concern and sometimes the damage in the engine cannot be repaired and you will end up replacing the whole engine which is costly!

Can I sell my car with the engine light on?

Absolutely not! Selling your car with the CEL on is not only unethical but also illegal for dealerships to sell the car while the check engine light is on.

So when you have to sell the vehicle while the check engine light is on, you must disclose this to the buyer so that they know what they are paying for. If you are concerned about the price, it will affect it because the buyer will have to repair the CEL. 

However, you will likely save yourself from indulging in illegal activity for car dealerships. In short, take your car to the mechanic first to repair the check engine light and then sell it.

How can I find out if someone has removed the CEL?

Luckily, it’s quite easy to find out if the check engine from the car has been removed or not. For that, you need to start (turn on) the car and see the dashboard.

If the check engine light does not flash on a bit and then go off, it means that the CEL has either been removed or someone has tempered it.

You can also check that with the help of OBD 2 code reader that is efficient to display “I/M Monitor Readiness Status”. Just plug in the scanner into the OBDII port right under the dashboard of the car and enter the button that says Read.

Now scroll down the options and select “I/M Monitor Readiness Status.”  If most of the systems after checking say “Not ready” it means that the check engine light has been removed.

Leave a Comment