Our newly-bought, used Mazda CX-5 is emitting white smoke - what should we do?

We've recently purchased a 2014 Mazda CX-5 2.0 petrol with 108,000 miles on the clock. On the day of the purchase, we pointed out some white smoke coming from the exhaust, only for it to be explained away as condensation on a cold day. Given that the car had been sitting in the garage long enough for the battery to go completely flat, we accepted that explanation and signed the contract. On the drive home (approx. 15-20 miles, mostly motorway) no smoke was noticed (my wife was driving the car and I was following with mine), until we got close to home (urban driving), where the smoke became very noticeable. We were advised by the dealer to give it a few days, which we did, without seeing any improvement. We were eventually advised to make a warranty claim (the car was sold with the AA "Inspect and Protect" warranty, though we never got the inspection report nor the latest MoT certificate). The mechanic designated by the AA ran a check and advised us that he didn't believe the smoke was anything unusual, and that's what he put in his report to the AA. Ruling out condensation, what may be causing the white smoke? What's our position with respect to the vendor? What is our position with respect to the AA warranty? Our plan was to have the car serviced (a service is due) by our trusted mechanic and ask him to inspect it, but also have a Mazda dealer run a full diagnostics so that we have the full facts and can rule out improper fluids. The dealer has sent us a written acknowledgement of our problem and, so far, seems willing to collaborate to solve the problem.

Asked on 9 February 2018 by Marco Bertelli

Answered by Honest John
Is the engine using coolant? This reads very much like a cylinder head gasket problem. It was not only wrong, it was illegal (insurance fraud) for the dealer to refer you to the warranty provider over a fault that obviously preceded taking out the warranty (you can't insure against a pre-existing fault). So this is all down to the dealer who sold you the car and if I was you I would assert my statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to reject the car for a full cash refund. If he refutes this, quote the ruling in Clegg v Olle Andersson (trading as Nordic Marine) House of Lords, 2003. More law here: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
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