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Second hand car disaster after 6 weeks?? HELP!


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Hi guys, I'm new here so hope I'm in the right place.

6 weeks ago I purchased a second hand 1996 Volvo Estate from a dealer in Berkshire, I'm in Devon. It cost £1400, I foolishly turned down the 6 month warranty the guy offered as I couldn't afford the extra money, the car overstretched my budget as it was but I took the gamble as the full service history and lack of advisories on its last MOT suggested it was a goody. Tragedy struck last week, I noticed fluid leaking from underneath and the local garage have diagnosed that it is either the head gasket on the way out or a major problem with the turbo. I've asked them to put any repairs or a more comprehensive diagnosis (don't want them to start taking it apart until I know where I stand legally) on hold as either of these is going to be pretty expensive and I wondered if the SOGA is applicable in this case and whether there was any way in hell I could recover any of the costs from the dealer? Surely I've not had reasonable use out of the car for the price? Any advice very welcome as I haven't really got a clue on my consumer rights, or the money for repairs. :confused:

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Hi missmoo. Just for your interest, the head gasket has either gone or it hasn't, there is no 'on it's way out'. As for the warranty, you did the right thing, they are a waste of money and rarely do you get back what you paid for them, not even piece of mind.

 

The fluid leak, is it water or oil? The turbo isn't water cooled so that would mean it's oil. If the head gasket has blown, then it would be water. A statement saying it's one or the other is totally misleading and both jobs would cost more than you paid for the car.

 

You need to take it somewhere and get a proper diagnosis and a cost to fix it. There will be no need to disassemble anything to do that.

 

You are covered by soga, and you should let the dealer know as soon as possible that you have a problem.

 

Try and get the car in to another garage tomorrow because this one is too vague in his diagnosis.

Edited by Conniff
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Regardless of the fact that you turned down the extra 6 month warranty will not in any way jeapordise your claim, the SOGA will definitley be your joker in this.

 

Whilst head gaskets tend to either fail immediately I have known of a few to begin weeping whereby you tend to find you will be topping up the water quite regularly, a very simple way of checking is to inspect both the oil dipstick and the oil filler cap for a 'mayonaisse' type effect, again if the header tank, containing the radiators water, is empty or running out, then this would also be an indication that the head gasket is failing.

 

However hopefully an independent garage repair centre will correctly identify the fault, ideally, the garage you bought it form will repair the fault free of charge as you have only had the vehicle a pitiful six weeks!

 

P.S. Volvo's are notorious for head gaskets..

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Hi Bazooka Boo. If a head gasket is weaping, then it has gone. I doubt if a repair will be viable going by the price of the car.

 

I would suggest that after six weeks, you should have the V5, so give the last owner a ring or drop him a line and say you have been looking at buying his car and ask why he sold it.

Whatever you do in the meantime, get in touch with the seller to register you problems with him, preferably by email so you have written confirmation of what is said.

Edited by Conniff
Forgot a greeting.
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Thanks for the quick responses chaps :) I have sent an email to the vendor along with the details of the garage who have the car now, so that he can discuss a diagnosis with them personally (cars in no sense my strong point!) and will wait and see what he has to say. Tried to keep the tone friendly but did mention the SOGA as well as requesting that he reply by email so we'll see!

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Guest nez69

No car comes with a warranty unless it is a new car manufacturers warranty.

 

Please people do your homework, used or 2nd hand cars can only come with an insurance policy against mechanical breakdown.

 

This is why they are usually deemed as rubbish because people expect them to cover everything like a warranty would.

 

 

They do not, and if you have an oil or water leak you probably would not be covered if you had purchased the "insurance".

 

Speak to the garage and find out what they are willing to do to help.

 

Just because they sell cars doesn't mean they know everything there is to know about them.

 

Ask them to check rear crank oil seal as this is common on this car.

 

Just be polite and knowledgable first and then take action if they still refuse to help.

 

Just bear in mind that they are under no obligation to cover the costs at all, so do your homework and tread carefully but with the right information.

Edited by nez69
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No car comes with a warranty unless it is a new car manufacturers warranty.

 

Please people do your homework, used or 2nd hand cars can only come with an insurance policy against mechanical breakdown.

 

This is why they are usually deemed as rubbish because people expect them to cover everything like a warranty would.

 

 

They do not, and if you hava an oil or water leak you probably would not be covered if you had purchased the "insurance".

 

Speak to the garage and find out what they are willing to do to help.

 

Just because they sell cars doesn't mean they know everything there is to know about them.

 

Ask them to check rear crank oil seal as this is common on this car.

I hardly think they will remove the gearbox to check a £1.90 oil seal.

 

Just be polite and knowledgable first and then take action if they still refuse to help.

 

Just bear in mind that they are under no obligation to cover the costs at all, * As the car was only purchased 6 weeks ago, they are responsible for repairing at no cost to the buyer. so do your homework and tread carefully but with the right information.

 

* Covered by the soga. During the first six months, any faults are assumed to have been present at the time of sale.

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Guest nez69

Oh hello, if you are checking head gasket etc i dont think it would be too much trouble to check crank seal while you are there.

 

Can you prove that the fault was there or do you need to?

 

You could use SOGA unfairly so there are rules that need to be followed. Yes there is an element of goodwill but there is not neccassarily an obligation to cover the full cost.

 

If you did not check the coolant and oil for instance within 6 weeks.

 

Its not as easy as ringing the garage and shouting SOGA at them really is it.

 

So like I said, arm yourself with ALL the facts before wading in. You need to both know AND understand what you are talking about fully, especially if you are to get questioned.

Edited by nez69
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Wires crossed maybe nez?

Looking at the wrong books doing your homework?

Don't work for the same gargae by any chance do you?

 

Chuckled when I read the bit about 'arm yourself with ALL the facts before wading in'.

 

Ditto.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Guest nez69
Wires crossed maybe nez?

Looking at the wrong books doing your homework?

Don't work for the same gargae by any chance do you?

 

Chuckled when I read the bit about 'arm yourself with ALL the facts before wading in'.

 

Ditto.

 

 

what's a gargae?

 

I dont work in one of those.

 

I am not claiming to be the font of all knowledge, I am just saying that they need to get all the facts. I can only offer what i KNOW to be correct from my professional capacity as I am sure you can.

 

Problem is on here peole give out so much vague information without any though for the person who then has to argue something in which they do not have a clue about.

 

I am a member of a very professional body shall we say and not working in a garage.

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Not very professional to be picking holes in peoples typos, so I'll overlook yours, "peole" "though".

 

The information may seem vague, but it would be extremely tedious and laborious to hold the OP's hand and tell them exactly what it is they are required to say verse for verse, when in fact it is better the OP finds the information out themselves and gets a clearer working knowledge of it, having been signposted to the correct information to help their situation.

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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so...

not looking hopeful I'm afraid. This is what I sent:

Dear Sir,

I am writing regarding the silver Volvo Estate registration N****** which I purchased from you on 07/04/10 for £1400. Last thursday 27/05/10 I noticed a leak underneath the car and upon investigation the water and coolant tank was found to be empty. I took it to our local mechanic the following morning, although I have only today spoken to him because of the Bank Holiday. The car is showing the following symptoms:

Misfires from cold with a rattle, takes 2-3 secs to start

Loss of water and coolant

He suspects a problem with the turbo or more likely the head gasket, although I have asked him to hold fire on further investigation or repair until I had contacted you and you'd spoken to him yourself. In short, I am looking at a very expensive repair bill for a car which I have had for only six weeks. Now I understand that you would almost certainly not have known about an imminently failing head gasket, however I'm sure you are also familiar with the Sale of Goods Act and that in this case it could well be argued that the car is unfit for purpose and that I have not had reasonable use of it for the price paid. I would appreciate it if you could contact the garage:

*Garage contact details*

to discuss these issues, and then get back to me by email a.s.a.p. As we live in Devon it would be difficult to return the car to yourself in order for you to arrange a repair without putting it on a transporter, although this is not out of the question, I am instead seeking a partial refund as a gesture of goodwill to cover the cost of repairs so that we can settle this matter amicably and without resorting to legal channels.

Yours in good faith,

 

Mel Turnbull

 

and his response:

Hello

 

Without Prejudice.

 

I'm sorry to learn that you are experiencing some problems with the car. However the vehicle was sold to yourselves 'as seen' and without warranty. You will also recall that it was inspected by a mechanic/friend at the time of sale and was given the thumbs up. As you said, the car was absolutely fine when it left here.

 

Unfortunatley cars are mechanical objects and they can go wrong.

 

Once again i am sorry that the car has developed a fault 6-8 weeks after purchase but i cant be held responsible for that.

 

I am fully aware of the sale of goods act so i do consider this matter closed.

 

 

John @ *********.

 

Now, a friend did give the car a quick look when we bought it, but only in the sense that he started it, it ran ok, there was no major fault apparent from a quick once over. He is not a mechanic and was not acting in a professional capacity.

 

Leg to stand on?

Edited by missmoo26
shouldn't really have quoted names/company or addresses!
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Guest nez69

I rest my case mr bazooka, I did try to warn, albeit too late for the poor purchaser of the vehicle.

 

We can all only do our best.

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Consumer Rights when Buying a Car | Consumer Information

 

Does the recipt say on it that it is 'Sold as seen'?

 

If you rest your case so easily Mr Nez, then they will continue to walk all over consumers, the fact that 'John' is fully aware of the SOGA and considers the matter closed, is both arrogant and flippant.

 

If the OP wants to take John's word as final then, no further help is required.

Edited by Bazooka Boo

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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Regulations state "Any fault that appears during the first six months are assumed to have been present at the time of sale", it is also up to them to show that the fault wasn't present at the time of sale and not for you to show it was. Seems he needs to be reminded of that bit.

 

Being realistic, I don't think you can justify them paying the full cost of a repair, although that is jumping the gun somewhat as we don't even know what is wrong with it.

 

You can't really move forward until you know what the problem is.

 

There is no such thing as 'sold as seen' and it will not hold up in a court.

Edited by Conniff
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Thank you for the link..

 

"...Thirdly (and this is where your rights differ), if you have bought the car from a dealer, the car must be of satisfactory quality. Satisfactory quality is defined as what a ‘reasonable person’ would regard as acceptable, taking into account factors such as price paid, fitness for purpose specified, appearance and finish, safety and durability. If it becomes apparent that the car was not of the quality you were led to expect, you are quite within your rights to go back to the dealer, even after some weeks or even months of use. If it was the case that you were invited to carry out a thorough inspection of the car before purchase, and then you go back to complain about something which that inspection should have revealed, you will have no legal rights in that regard."

 

So I'm still no closer to being sure of where I stand. I'm a reasonable person, and I don't think that £1400 should buy you only six weeks use of a car... A quick "once round the block" inspection at the time of purchase would not have revealed the car's underlying problems, and the seller will just argue that it's hard luck and that they must have occurred in the six weeks I've had it. I don't think I can prove otherwise.

Giving up shortly :(

 

No need to fight boys ;)

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A difficult one this as Nez has pointed out however it's pretty clear cut. SOGA on used cars is a very grey area as the act does say "taking into account age, mileage, condition, item etc". I will still say it is wrong to say that it is deemed that the fault existed 6 months prior to it manifesting itself despite the precident which I believe is being misinterpreted here on these forums. There are often times when this applies without question.

 

In this case I think the OP has very reasonable grounds. Initially it would help if we knew what was actually wrong. On the balance of probabilities I would say that the sellar has a duty to diagnose and put right.

 

As regards checking the rear main seal..........why Nez. If you worked for me and had suggested this I think we'd be having a serious chat now unless you were willing to pay for the G/box removal. Not necessary and not called for.

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Guest nez69

 

As regards checking the rear main seal..........why Nez. If you worked for me and had suggested this I think we'd be having a serious chat now unless you were willing to pay for the G/box removal. Not necessary and not called for.

 

If the head gasket is being replaced then checking the seal is not a major issue.

 

Customer satisfaction is the be all and end all of being a dealer. If you have this then everything will follow.

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Guest nez69

I refer back to my law days when studying contract law "BUYER BEWARE".

 

Noone wants to pay out money if they dont have to and this garage do not have to.

 

It may be worth using SOGA as a tool but also use trding standards and more importantly his reputation. The garage may not be too interested but if his reputation is damaged enough he could be put out of business.

 

My mother, god rest her sole, stood outside a shop with a picket board for 3 days over a faulty cooker many years ago. The shop owner did not want to give her money back for a faulty cooker so she stood there and told every potential customer her story.

 

It took 3 days of no custom and a damaged reputation but he paid up in the end.

 

It's not always about following the legal channels, especially if there is a good chance that the garage will not care about these as they can be hard to fight.

 

Just a thought.

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If the head gasket is being replaced then checking the seal is not a major issue.

 

Customer satisfaction is the be all and end all of being a dealer. If you have this then everything will follow.

 

Are you sure your mean what your saying?

 

To check the oil seal means removal of the gearbox, clutch and flywheel, hardly a five minute job, more like 5 hours and has no connection to the head or working on the head in any way.

 

Checking suggest having a look and if nothing wrong then putting it all back when economics and common sense say you would change it anyway whether it needed it or not.

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Guest nez69

Taking the gearbox out is not difficult, 5 hours? Ill do it if you will pay me 5 hours, gladly.

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No one said it was difficult, you don't even know what car it is except for Volvo.

You will be saying that while changing the spark plugs, you might as well just check the main bearing shells next.

 

'Replace headlight bulb! certainly madam and would you like me to check your planet wheels while I'm at it?'.

 

Got your number now.

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