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Private sale problem, major engine fault,

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I am new to the forum, so I would like to say hello. I have just found it and read through a couple of interesting posts here, looks very useful source of information.


I have purchased a car off a private person. It was on ebay, but I have bought it not directly through ebay. Basically, I have been offered second chance offer, but when I got back home , that offer has already expired, so I emailed seller if it's still valid, and he said yes.

I have asked him about the car condition, I did ask about engine/gearbox/clutch, I got a reply 'engine is great', 'engine is in good nick', and I asked if car smokes I got a reply that it doesn't.

So I went ahead and purchased the car (173 miles away from my home).

It was somewhat strange when I came there the engine was already hot, I have asked for the reason, he replied he has just been to car wash, so I thought, OK.

It got me back home (although it did strangely shake at first moment AFTER the engine had some chance to cool down after doing all the paperwork and counting cash for the car), but it got me back home (173 miles)

Next day morning when I started the car on cold engine a massive cloud of blue smoke and rough idle... Then the engine warms up and it drives just perfect.

I did complain on the same day (next day after purchase) to the seller by email about this, but he said when he was selling car it was all fine.


Now, I do have all the evidence that he has told me about engine being great and car not smoking which is false.

It is all through emails which as I believe can be deemed as a proof? I know these have to be taken under some more detailed scrutiny to validate their source, but genearlly emails CAN be used to support a case in court, can't they?


The other thing is, the advert said mileage of 123000 (just rough mileage without last three numbers detailed), but in reality I bought it with 123760 on clock.

I did my 173 mile trip back home, and then investigation of the problem has taken me another 60 miles. have been at the garage-worn piston rings or cylider walls, so major engine fault.

So in total I have done around 233 miles and since diagnose I have left the car on my driveway , it is now on 123989.


Now what are my chances in court as I already have sent a letter to the seller as instructed by Trading standards, but his reply was only that he cannot hold responsibility and any more letters will go through his solicitor.


On the AdviceGuide.org.uk I have read a section about buying from private seller. It states 'If you can show that vehicle did not match the description the seller gave you, you have a claim against them, even if the seller believed the description to be true'.


So am I right at guessing - I can show the vehicle did not match the description, as in emails I got his reply that engine is great (which is not), in good nick (which is not) and it doesn't smoke (which it does massively on startup-blue smoke with unusually strong exhaust smell, then it quiets down), then I have an email proof of my complaint to him the next day about blue smoke.

Now the only thing I am not 100% sure I will be able to prove is the mileage I have done- I have no way to prove I have bought it on 123760 miles mark, I can only prove what his advert says (123000 miles) and I can prove that it sits now at my driveway with 123989 miles.

Would that be seen in court that I could have done 989 miles within that day till I have complained the next day?


How would you rate my chances as I am really determined (second banger this year, the first one I have fixed off my own pocket-turbo,clutch,flywheel and cambelt, massive amount of money. Now this car requires replacement engine-can't afford that and this practice has to stop, so I am really determined to sort this out, even in court)


I know this car was already faulty when buying (this strange shakingness after paying money), and the seller being a mechanic at some company must have been aware of the problem, but again, I can't prove to the court it was shaking straight after paying to the guy, I can only tell it to the judge, but not prove.

I would be probably suing the guy under the 'car not as described' section.

Also, I will probably need an independent report, but should I do this now (and pay off my own pocket), or let it sit on my driveway and wait for court action and then if the judge orders doing the independent report, doing it then? So I wouldn't have to pay it off my own pocket.


Sorry for long post.. :-)

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I dont know about the legal side. but i do recommend an independant report from some reputable company, ie RAC or the AA. That will help if you decide to sue.

Is the mileometer counter a digital or the old fashiond type? I ask because your report will state there appears to be more wear and tear than the milage showing. The report cost me £25.00 but saved me money and the garage got closed down with the help of the trading standards

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