Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - Alvdat

I purchased a used 2013 citroen ds3 1.6 hdi from a large franchise dealer and after 8 months the camshaft snapped! They have had the car in their garage for 3 months now and have said it was oil starvation that caused it to snap (this I do not dispute), they have also stated that this was not down to my negligence as I have serviced as scheduled and always checked the oil is at the correct level and admitted this was not standard wear and tear.

Does anyone know what could have caused the oil deprivation if the car always had sufficient oil and do you know if this is common at 34000? The dealer in question is refusing to pay for the repairs and will not even investigate the cause unless we pay them to do it. Surely this isn't right?

Has anyone had any similar problems and did you ever manage to get it sorted?

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RobJP

The law is pretty clear : under the CRA, any faults that occur within the first six months of ownership are deemed to have been 'present or developing' at the time of sale. In other words, if this had happened within the first 6 months, it would have been up to the garage to prove that they were not responsible for the fault (at their expense, i.e. independent engineers report).

After that six months has passed, it is up to you to prove that the fault was 'present or developing' at the time of sale, at your cost.

So it appears the garage are not being unreasonable in this case.

You haven't mentioned as to whether you got a warranty with the car - if you did buy it from a franchised dealership, then I'd have expected a 12 month warranty to have come with the car, and for that to cover the costs.

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - Alvdat

Hi there. I did infact purchase a 12 month RAC warranty when I bought the car. The warranty company has agreed to replace the camshaft and belt but nothing else. This would be hunky dory, only we know the entire head needs replacing due to subsequent damage and we haven't even looked at the bottom end yet.

I should probably mention that the car is also on finance. We had the finance company agree to carry out a full assessment and let us know the cause of the problem and all they did was confirm the dealers prognosis (didn't actually investigate anything) . All are in agreement that this wasn't my fault and it shouldn't have happened, so why should I potentially have to pay for an entire new engine if for example the oil pump had stopped working or we had accelerated carbon build up because of a fault somewhere else in the system?

We are willing to pay under protest because the car is needed for commuting to and from work. But we have no idea where we go from there, who do we contact? The warranty company, trading standards, a solicitor, or should we just give up and spend thousands getting it fixed?

Edited by Alvdat on 15/06/2017 at 11:10

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RobJP

Go through the warranty company appeals process, initially. Details of how to do so will be in your paperwork.

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RichardW

Second that - a fault trashing the engine is difficult to see as consequential damage - what would they offer for a cambelt failure? If it's been dealer serviced on time, might be worth approaching Citroen to see if they will offer anything.

If they really won't move, then I would get a used engine from a breaker and get that fitted - there are plenty on e-bay with allegedly similar mileage to yours at £500 - £1000 depending on ancilliaries fitted. Probably another grand on top of that to put it in; depending on the labour rate. A new engine at dealer prices will be eye watering....

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - TedCrilly

Go and see a solicitor.

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RobJP

You can't just 'go and see a solicitor'. Because all a solicitor will do is to tell you to go through the warranty company appeal process, and then, if that is refused, to take it to the ombudsman process for the warranty company.

Because, quite simply, if you took it straight to court, the court will look at the case and see if arbitration or the official process has been completed first. (warranties are financial products, and come under FCA regulation, including refusal of claims, etc, so are subject to an ombudsman). If you haven't been through those processes, then your case is greatly weakened.

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - galileo

If they really won't move, then I would get a used engine from a breaker and get that fitted - there are plenty on e-bay with allegedly similar mileage to yours at £500 - £1000 depending on ancilliaries fitted. Probably another grand on top of that to put it in; depending on the labour rate. A new engine at dealer prices will be eye watering....

One of these from a breaker is, I would suggest, best viewed as a short term fix in order to sell the car.

Used examples of this engine may be on the verge of problems. Before fitting one it would be a good idea to take the sump off and clean the oil-pickup gauze and replace the turbo oil-feed pipe as oil-starvation is a common cause of failures.

(My friend who runs an independent garage told me of an Audi brought in on a recovery truck with a seized camshaft (and resultant damage to many parts). Removal of sump showed carbon blocking the pickup strainer as the cause. The local VW breaker had several used engines but all had similar problems, basically due to lack of frequent oil changes. . .

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RichardW

This is the later 8V DV6C version, which is much better in that regard. I wouldn't worry about a 30k mile engine.

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - SLO76

This is the later 8V DV6C version, which is much better in that regard. I wouldn't worry about a 30k mile engine.

Erm.. the OP has one that's just blown up. Not a rare occurrence either I might add. The later engine is better but it still has a terrible failure rate.
Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - RichardW

I've heard of one turbo and this camshaft... hardly a terrible rate. A contact who repairs them for a living was doing >1 turbo a week on 16V engines, but has yet to see a single 8V with lubrication troubles. That's less the no of clutches you've had on your Honda....!

Citroen DS3 - Camshaft snapped! Who is liable, myself or dealer? - gordonbennet
Before fitting one it would be a good idea to take the sump off and clean the oil-pickup gauze and replace the turbo oil-feed pipe as oil-starvation is a common cause of failures.

I suspect if the sump was pulled off the present engine that the oil pick up strainer would be prove full of carbon solids.

It's not so long ago that Diesel engines were the choice for simple reliable long trouble free life, Pug XUD and VW 1.9PD units prime examples, and Mazda Diesels in high demand for fitting into Landrovers.

 

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