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Evans Halshaw won't give me paperwork for repairs

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In May, I bought a car from Evans Halshaw for £2400. I was told it had been serviced before sale by them (although the service stamp in the log book was missing - I assumed it was an oversight)


2 months after purchase, I broke down. I was towed by a local mechanic who ran some diagnostics on it and found that the thermostat housing was leaking coolant, resulting in the head gasket overheating. He tested the coolant mixture and found that it was less than 5% antifreeze. I hadn't checked the coolant because I assumed a fully serviced car would be fine - the mechanic said the coolant had been leaking for months judging by the stains on the housing casing, and someone had been topping up with water to compensate.


I contacted Evans Halshaw and they told me I only had a one month warranty and they would do nothing. I asked the local mechanic to write a report on the problem and I sent it to them with a formal request for repair under the "Sale of Goods Act". They then came to collect the car from me and took it away to repair it. After 8 days, they called me to say it was ready. I collected it yesterday from their garage. They gave me the car key and walked away. No-one talked me through the repair job, nor did they give me paperwork detailing what they'd done.


This morning, I checked the coolant level and the header tank was completely empty. It appears to still be leaking coolant. I telephoned the dealership at 8am and left an urgent message for someone to call me and clarify whether they've replaced / repaired the head gasket. No-one called me back. I rang again at 3pm and stressed how vital it is I know whether my car is fully repaired and safe to drive. No-one was available to speak to me nor did they call me back - the receptionist was sympathetic but useless.


What do I now do? Am I legally covered to go ahead and arrange a local mechanic to look at it again and carry out repairs if necessary (and then take them to a small claims court to recover the money)? Or am I obliged to write formally to them again giving them another chance to repair it properly. It's killing me financially to hire a replacement car (I've already paid for 2 weeks whilst the car was off the road). If this drags on and on, it'll cost me a fortune to keep renting a car. I just want the car fixed properly and I don't trust them to do that. Plus, they won't even talk to me!


I'm too scared to drive the car until I know it's roadworthy but they won't tell me what they did to it.



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Got a call (finally) from evans halshaw. They tell me the car is fully repaired and the coolant drop is because the car is "finding its level". They are sending me paperwork for the work carried out (not sure why it wasn't available on the day itself).


Would I now have a case to pursue them for the towing cost and initial diagnostic report I had to get when they refused to accept liability? It's £288 in total so it's not cheap. Plus, I had to spend £211 on car hire while this was resolved. Could I claim this from them?


Does the law allow for expenses like this when sold a car that is not fit for purpose?



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They tell me ... the coolant drop is because the car is "finding its level".


There are only 2 ways the coolant level can drop, either:

- Leak, from thermostat/head gasket gone/hole in radiator/split hose/etc.

- Air lock, which would cause the level to drop when the air pocket worked its way around to the reservoir.


Any competent mechanic would have checked the first reason, and would have forced the second reason to happen whilst the vehicle was in his care and then topped the coolant up to compensate for the drop in level.


Get the repair report from them and see what work they claim to have done.

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Took the car out today. After just a few miles, the engine management light came on and I noticed a "hot" smell in the car. Looks like overheating but the coolant level is ok.

Called Evans Halshaw and they have asked me to take it to my local mechanic for diagnostics and they will reimburse me for any costs incurred. I'm 70 miles from the dealer so I can't take it there.

They have suddenly started to be really nice.

Even though the car is a pain in the @rse, I am liking the sudden change in attitude from them

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well....Evans Halshaw have finally started to ignore me. They still haven't sent me evidence of repair as they promised and the engine management light is a permanent feature of the dash now. They won't reply to my letter asking them to look at the car again and the nice mechanic (Craig Thomas) who told me "just send an email and I'll call immediately" has gone to ground.


I can't afford to reject the car so I'll take it to my local Citroen dealer and see if they can diagnose and repair.


If they won't give me the paperwork for repairs, can I report them to trading standards?

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