What should I do with my truck?

I have a 1988 F-150. It seems to run ok, but the CHECK ENGINE light is on. There is a commercial on tv that says "Once your Check Engine light
comes on, it's too late". And they also say that a repair for a Check Engine light will cost around $5000. I wish I had known this before I bought this truck, because that light was on when I bought the truck. It ran well, so I did not think there was anything to worry about.
I paid $1200 for the truck, hoping it would last me 5 years so so. I did have to get the front brakes fixed, which cost another $380. So I have $1580 invested in this truck. I am not going to spend another $5000 to fix an old truck worth around $1500.
What should I do? Should I just keep driving it until it quits running, or should I just drive it to a junk yard? I phoned a local junk yard, and they told me that they will pay about $150 if I drive it in, but if they have to tow it in, they dont pay anything.
What should I do? How long will it run with that Check Engine light on, before it quits running completely?
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On Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 2:45:34 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@email.none wrote:

Is it running? Go to a local Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, O'Reilly's, etc., and have them diagnose it. They'll do it for free. It might be something simple like an emissions component, or a faulty sensor.
Otherwise, if it's running decently, keep driving it. If it's a major issue, the truck will soon tell you, then it will be easier to diagnose.
Bear in mind you can always go to Craig's List and buy old trucks like yours for $500 or less. You can then take all the parts off you need (assuming you have some place to store the donor truck).
Thank you, Rick C. Hodgin
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replying to Rick C. Hodgin, 4Wheely wrote: You have to diagnose it to know what's the real issue or why the CHECK ENGINE light is on.
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