Can you get a car title loan with the check engine light on? The short answer is yes in most cases. The fact that a check engine light is on does not necessarily mean you can’t get approved for a title loan.
To find out why we need to take a look at the online title loan process as well as what it means to have a check engine light on. The reasons can vary quite a bit from something very minor to a more serious potential repair.
Online Title Loan Process
The online title loan process often includes an inspection or appraisal; be it an in person inspection or a virtual one. Even for the virtual one the lender requires pictures of the odometer, which, in most cases, shows whether or not the check engine light is on.
The process starts with an online application, an appraisal of the vehicle to determine the max loan amount, and completing the loan funding. The portion of the process we need to look at to determine how to get a title loan with the check engine light on is the vehicle inspection or appraisal.
Vehicle Inspection and Check Engine Light
Title loans are secured by the vehicle, therefor the vehicle must be inspected and appraised prior to approval and funding for a specific loan amount. This appraisal takes into consideration many factors, of which include:
- Year, Make, Model
- Condition (Mechanical and Cosmetic)
The fact that the car has a check engine light on can indicate a number of things ranging from minor to more serious.
Minor Example of a Check Engine Light
One example of a minor issue that will cause the check engine light to come on is leaving your gas cap off for a certain period of time. Once the cap is replaced and a few ignitions cycles are completed the light will go off.
More Serious Example of a Check Engine Light
A more serious issue can be a problem with one of the vehicle’s sensors or even the computer. Some sensors can be costly, and a computer problem can also be costly. There are a multitude of other reasons for the light to come on that may indicate a failing part like a fuel injector, A/C compressor, or a wide range of other parts.
Without scanning the vehicle it is impossible to know the cause of why the light is on. It is fairly easy to scan the vehicle yourself and reset the light. If the problem persists the light will come back on. Many auto parts stores also provide a free scan to determine the reason for the check engine light.
The lender will look at all information provided with the loan application. For online title loans with no inspection this includes pictures of the vehicle and the history. These days any scheduled maintenance performed at the dealer or other service shop is recorded on the vehicle history report.
For vehicles that are well maintained this will factor into the appraisal amount. Likewise for vehicles that are not well maintained. If your check engine light is on, and your vehicle history report does not show regularly scheduled maintenance was done, then this may factor into the amount the lender is willing to lend.
Additionally, for title loans without the vehicle present, pictures of the vehicle odometer are required. This is mostly to verify mileage, however some vehicles require the ignition on to show the mileage. In these cases the fact that the check engine light is on may be a factor in the valuation.
This is especially important for older vehicle’s. Newer vehicles that are still under warranty are less of a concern for something like a check engine light. This is not the case for older vehicles where a major repair can cost a significant amount of the vehicle’s value.
What does a Check Engine Light Mean?
Now that we know what the lender is looking at when performing the appraisal, we need to take a look at what it means to have a check engine light on. The reasons can vary significantly. All vehicles equipped with OBD-II, or On Board Diagnostics II, have a check engine light.
Diagnosing the reason the light is on requires an OBD-II code reader or scanner. There are some inexpensive code readers that can read the error and tell you instantly why your check engine light is on.
As mentioned, and shown below, the reasons can be many different items. Vehicles today are equipped with a wide range of sensors and any time one of them returns a value outside of normal range an error code may be stored.
This can cause the check engine light to come on. Over time, if the sensor range returns to normal, the light will go off.
How to get a Title Loan with the Check Engine Light On
To get a title loan with the check engine light on it will help to know the reason for the light. If not, then provide supporting information with the application. This includes pictures of the vehicle and if possible any maintenance records.
The purpose is to provide the lender with enough information to accurately appraise the vehicle, even with the check engine light on. Then, once approved, simply complete the title loan process just like any other title loan.
Having a check engine light on does not mean you cannot get a title loan. As discussed, check engine lights can be on for a wide range of reasons and some very simple such as not tightening your gas cap to something more serious. It is worth the time to figure our why the light is on, and, if possible, correct the fault that caused the light to turn on.
It is worth noting that in some states to pass either safety or emissions inspections having a check engine light on may be a problem. If you need either of these inspections for vehicle registration then that may be a problem you will need to address sooner rather than later.