Is there any way of knowing if a seller cleared the codes for a check engine light with a scan tool, or disconnecting battery? Happens way too often.

Asked by Jun 07, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Question type: General

It is very frustrating, and i know there has to be a
way to uncover their scam.

6 Answers


There really i no way of knowing if codes have been cleared. If you get lucky and have a good scanner, (Modis, Autel, etc.) you may be able to locate history codes. If you are looking to purchase a vehicle, ask the seller to allow you to road test the vehicle. perform several key cycles and see if the check engine light comes on. Not guaranteed to work but it might help.

Thanks man!. This is such a dishonest practice. I heard that an emissions specialist has a way of knowing, like where you get it inspected. But yes, driving it a period of time(40 min) might uncover a scam but no guarantees.


During the road test, be sure to turn the car off and on a few times, that's the key cycling.


You can tell with a code reader. If the readiness monitors are not all set (the code reader will tell you) then the computer has been cleared recently. HTH. -Jim

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks guys. Much appreciated


You're welcome. Glad to help. - Jim

Your Answer:


General Experts

  • #1
    Tom Demyan
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.