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Approved Used Warranty advice needed


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In January this year I bought an approved used Mazda MPV 2.0TD through a Mazda dealer in Hull for £5000 which came with a years Mazda Zoom Zoom Plus (ZZ+) warranty.

 

When I bought the car she had covered just over 52000 miles. In order to qualify as a used approved Mazda it had to have Full Service History and pass a rigorous inspection. This was a blue chip car.

 

I soon noticed that it was using a little oil necessitating topping up weekly and this has steadily got worse to the point that having covered just over 5000 miles (bringing the total mileage to just over 57000) it has consumed just under 7 litres of oil, or to put it another way about 1 litre every 750 miles.

 

I checked the handbook which stated that these engines (Apparently the same as the Mazda6) can consume up to 1 litre of oil every 1000 miles.

 

The odd thing is, it is not obviously burning oil (no plumes of blue smoke), it is not leaking oil, the performance is strong and the engine runs very smoothly. The fuel economy is good and the coolant level is static and the engine temperature never deviates once warm. Other than the appetite for oil, you really wouldn’t know there was a thing was wrong with the engine.

 

Took it into my local Mazda garage in Berkhamsted, and they quickly diagnosed heavy breathing!? In fact, with the engine running, if you remove the oil filler cap it does a (depressingly) good impression of a steam train. It also does the same if the dip stick is removed indicating it is likely to be blow past the pistons as opposed to valve guides. How it doesn’t burn oil I really don’t know. The technician immediately started to talk about a new short engine and I thought “Fine, crack on”!

 

I immediately sensed all was not well though as they went on to explain to me that I would have to pay for the engine to be taken out and stripped at a cost of at least £600!!!!! Furthermore, if it was deemed to be “fair wear and tear” the warranty would not pay for the repair and I would be liable. The warranty help desk have said that if there is a qualifying problem then the diagnostic costs would be fully covered.

 

So I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have a first class warranty but may still be liable for the repairs!

 

In a worse case scenario, how do I argue the toss?

 

To my mind, I have a car which I bought 5 months ago as an used approved car which had a Full Mazda Service History and was good enough to qualify for the ZZ+ approved used scheme; so has clearly been maintained to the manufacturers specifications and was thoroughly checked before sale.

It is a low mileage car and today the life expectancy of an engine must be well over 100,000 miles and probably nearer 150,000 miles, but how do I prove that?

Surely, a properly maintained modern engine should not be using anything like 1 litre of oil every 1000 miles let alone every 750 miles having only done 57,000 miles?

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

George

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Hi George. Do you have all the past MoTs so you can check the mileage is correct?

If not, check on the Vosa site - MOT Information - Introduction

Worn valve guides wouldn't use that much oil and you would definately see it when pulling away from idling for a few mins.

 

This has to be (as you say) blowpast, so would be wear and tear unless the mileage is genuine, piston rings don't pass at that mileage unless there is a control ring broken in which case you would see blue smoke.

 

Have you had someone follow you to see what is coming out the exhaust?

 

Book in for an exhaust gas reading with an Mot station and see what the reading is.

 

If that usage in that mileage is correct, then the car is not fit for purpose.

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Hello Connif,

 

Thanks for the advice. The mileage is correct, it has full Mazda service history and was sold an a Mazda used approved car. I agree with you in that if the mileage is correct that this is NOT fair wear and tear; in my opinion this is indicative of a worn out engine of say 150,000 miles. BUT how do I argue that? It needs to be objective rather than subjective.

 

With regard to the smoke there is definately no blue smoke, and lets face it is amazing how much smoke even a little oil makes. The amount of oil that is being used should equate to somthing like the Red arrows!

There is occaisional black smoke when putting yout foot down, which I have come to associate with diesels and the fact that they are a dirtier engine when compared to a petrol engine.

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If you are still within the first six months, make a claim on the dealer that the car was inherently faulty when sold, (which it obviously was).

In the first six months, it is up to them to prove it was not, so time is of the essence here.

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Right, thanks for that. I have legal expenses cover on the home insurance so I will make some enquiries with them.

 

The plan now is to get the car into my local Mazda dealer getting the diagnostic work carried out which will either result in:

1] A warranty claim for all costs and repairs; or

2] A claim against the supplying garage under the Sale of Goods Act with the diagnostic work by the local garage being used to show this was a pre-existing problem.

 

Hopefully resulting, in the car being repaired by either the Mazda warranty company or the supplying garage.

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You described it as a blue chip car. That usually means it has been reprogrammed or had the chip replaced for better performance.

Edited by Conniff
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Thats a new one on me!

Something which is described as Blue Chip is normally seen as a very safe investment with little risk of anything going wrong.

For example Blue Chip stock is the stock of a well-established company having stable earnings and no extensive liabilities. The term derives from casinos, where blue chips stand for counters of the highest value. Most blue chip stocks pay regular dividends, even when business is faring worse than usual.

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Of course you are correct in economics. I have just done a google of it and there are a million things linked from Horse feed to Bridges.

 

But you haven't been chipped, so that's ok. It wouldn't have mattered anyway as long as the dealer was aware.

 

You shouldn't need legal assistance, but it is nice to have just in case.

 

Do as I said in earlier posts and see what they have to say.

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