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Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

I recently purchased a used car. I paid 4k for the car with low milage. Within a week I found out that the engine needed rebuilding. I have a written report from two independent garages that there is a serious issue with the engine. I contacted the seller which is a dealer and they offered to fix it and they sent me to their mechanic. The was fine, however when I arrived at their mechanics it resembled more of a scrap yard than a garage. It was definitely not a place I would like to perform such an important repair like an engine rebuild on a car that I had just purchased. I telephoned the seller and explained that I am unhappy with this and would like a refund. They refused. I asked if he was happy to pay for the repair then could I take it my usual garage. He declined. I have requested the refund in writing. This has all happened within 2 weeks of owning the car.

what chances do I have?

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

In addition to this, he has already made it obvious that he has no intentions of a refund and I will have to tae him to court.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Avant

The premises might have looked scruffy but there could be a skilled mechanic inside. You should give him a chance.

In the seller's book you have refused his offer to fix the problem, so he refuses a refund.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Bromptonaut

This link to citizens advice should give you some 'starter' information:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/buying-or-repairing-a-car/problems-with-a-used-car/

Assuming you're in England/Wales their consumer advice line 03454 04 05 06 may be able to go into more detail, in particular about position if you refused opportunity to repair.

Small Claims is all well and good but it's not a cure all. You can win your case but a defendant with no money cannot pay and there's plenty more out there who are skilled at evading payment.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Gibbo_Wirral

The premises might have looked scruffy but there could be a skilled mechanic inside. You should give him a chance.

Very much this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I realise first impressions do count, but my two most trusted and experienced mechanics have scruffy yards, but their workmanship is impeccable.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Engineer Andy

The premises might have looked scruffy but there could be a skilled mechanic inside. You should give him a chance.

Very much this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I realise first impressions do count, but my two most trusted and experienced mechanics have scruffy yards, but their workmanship is impeccable.

Indeed - often better than a glass palace. That's why I'd always speak to the mechanic and get their opinions and what they'd do, plus go to other reputable ones to see if their words are borne out by those of the others.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Brit_in_Germany

Are you still within 30 days of purchase? If so, you have a legal right to reject a faulty product. After that cut off the seller is given a right of repair.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - thunderbird

Are you still within 30 days of purchase? If so, you have a legal right to reject a faulty product. After that cut off the seller is given a right of repair.

I would expect the chances of getting a refund from a used car seller who uses a scrap yard for repairs to be less than zero.

You might have a legal right and in court you might well win but that does not mean you will get a single penny. This type of seller will have been here before.

The fact that you refused a repair because you did not like the look of the garage will certainly count against you. Can you prove that they would have been unsuccessful sorting the issue? of course not. When someone else is paying its for them to decide who does the job and not you. That is why only official agents can carry out warranty work.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

As advised by trading standards, I sent him an email and a letter 15 days after purchasing the vehicle and informed them that I would like a full refund.

I have two written reports from trusted, independent garages which both state that there is a problem with the vehicles engine. One report evens states that it will need an engine replacement or major overhaul. They said this will cost thousands.

My fear is that I cannot see a dealer paying proper money for a 'proper' repair job. Is he just going to bodge it up get it out of the 6 month period? Is he just going to tell his mate to do it as cheap as possible to make it ok for now?

The trading standards have said that he is wrong in stating that he has the right to repair it before refunding within the first 30 days. I should just be able to ask for a refund.

I paid a lot of money for this car, definitely slightly over the odds as I thought I was buying a decent car with low milage from a dealer. To top it off, an old MOT failure certificate was not included with the purchase which shows that the car has previously had this problem.

Edited by SC99 on 05/11/2019 at 19:51

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

In addition to my previous messages:

The problem with the car is that it is blowing out blue smoke when accelerating (wouldn't notice from test drive as I am in the car), burning excess oil. Had to be topped up with a whole bottle within one and a half weeks after purchase.

I did not realise until taking this car to my mechanic that these a the signs of severe engine wear. The failed MOT certificate from a few years ago says it failed from excessive blue smoke (this MOT certificate was not with the vehicles paperwork upon purchase - was retrieved online by my mechanic) . This car has obviously been having this trouble before.

Im under the impression that car is absolutely knackered without a new engine a major overhaul. Which costs thousands.

I was not informed of this problem when purchasing the car. I think I've bought a lemon!

Edited by SC99 on 05/11/2019 at 21:44

Faulty used car - small claims court. - sammy1

It might help your replies if you say what car it is, how old and mileage. Presumably you paid cash otherwise your credit card company could help?

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

2011 Mini Cooper.

I paid £4400 from a dealer.

It had approximately 48800 miles on the clock.

Unfortunately I used my debit card. I now know this was a stupid idea. I think I let my guard down as I was buying from a dealer for the first time. I really did not expect to find out that the car had major engine issues and require such expensive repairs for that fact I bought it from a dealer and had low milage for its age.

Any advice is welcome.

Edited by SC99 on 05/11/2019 at 22:47

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Gibbo_Wirral

Aren't "new" Minis known to be oil burners with that PRINCE engine?

My PRINCE would drink nearly a litre of oil every 1000 miles.

Edited by Gibbo_Wirral on 06/11/2019 at 12:36

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99
I have heard that they use more oil than other cars. Been told that mine is still a lot worse than other cars though. I’m concerned about the bigger picture and the upcoming issues that this engine will have if is has been treated that badly that it needs this sort in f work at 48k.
Faulty used car - small claims court. - RichardW

Is it a 1.6 turbo? In which case there's a good chance it just needs a modified PCV breather valve and / or a catch can.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

It's a 1.6. I am unsure on whether or not it has a turbo.

Are there any mechanics on here who might be able to offer advice? Is this the type of job that someone would be able to bodge up to last a few months if they wanted to? Is it more of a case of they've been able to fix it or they haven't been able to fix it?

The problem is that the car is drinking oil. Blue smoke is also seen when accelerating. Had to be topped up after about a week.

Edited by SC99 on 07/11/2019 at 18:19

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SLO76
“ My fear is that I cannot see a dealer paying proper money for a 'proper' repair job. Is he just going to bodge it up get it out of the 6 month period? Is he just going to tell his mate to do it as cheap as possible to make it ok for now?”


Exactly. This is what almost every dealer will do in such a situation. They will authorise the mechanic to do the cheapest repair possible to get it back on the road. He won’t care as long as it lasts a few months. Don’t accept it back, fight for a full refund.

But I would advise looking into the dealers business background. Has he been trading longterm? Is he a limited company with only marginal assets? Most smaller dealer operate as a marginal limited company and simply bankrupt it before paying out on any big CCJ’s.

If he’s been there a long time then it’s very likely he’ll have assets and a reputation he wants to preserve. I’d approach him and politely ask for a refund and explain to him that the law is on your side and that you will take it the full way. It’ll be easier for him to just take the car back and repair it an resell it on, the costs are essentially the same and it’ll preserve his reputation in fact I’d tell him that you’ll sing his praises on social media if he does. Probably won’t work as the trade is full of hard nosed idiots as I see them but you never know. If I sold a retail car like this that developed a fault so soon (wouldn’t have stocked a Mini of this vintage myself) I’d’ve refunded then punted it through action to save any further hassle.
Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

Sadly, I've already approached him and asked for a refund. Of course he's said no. Claimed he has the right to 7 days to repair it first before I can ask for a refund. Trading Standards have said that he doesn't have this right as I've only owned the car a couple of weeks.

He pretty much gave me the contact details for his solicitor and told me to bring it on.

Following advice form Trading Standards, he has been informed in writing that I want to return the car for a full refund. However, I do not think he has any intentions of doing this.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SLO76
Look up his business records if he’s a limited firm... If there’s no assets or he’s constantly changing the registered name etc then it’s not worth the fight and likely to cost you for no gain but if there’s assets worthy of taking then get stuck into him. www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company
Faulty used car - small claims court. - Engineer Andy

Are you still within 30 days of purchase? If so, you have a legal right to reject a faulty product. After that cut off the seller is given a right of repair.

I would expect the chances of getting a refund from a used car seller who uses a scrap yard for repairs to be less than zero.

You might have a legal right and in court you might well win but that does not mean you will get a single penny. This type of seller will have been here before.

The fact that you refused a repair because you did not like the look of the garage will certainly count against you. Can you prove that they would have been unsuccessful sorting the issue? of course not. When someone else is paying its for them to decide who does the job and not you. That is why only official agents can carry out warranty work.

The OP said it resembled a scrap yard, not that it was one. Big difference.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

I am. Informed the seller after 2 weeks that I want to return it. But he won't refund it, even thought this is the law.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

Any advice from a mechanic or just someone in the know would be greatly appreciated.

If I was to let them repair this. How would I know that it has been repaired properly? Is it possible for someone to do a bodge job on this kind of work?

The car is blowing blue smoke out the exhaust when accelerating and using a lot of oil.

Edited by SC99 on 07/11/2019 at 19:54

Faulty used car - small claims court. - galileo

Any advice from a mechanic or just someone in the know would be greatly appreciated.

If I was to let them repair this. How would I know that it has been repaired properly? Is it possible for someone to do a bodge job on this kind of work?

The car is blowing blue smoke out the exhaust when accelerating and using a lot of oil.

Lots of blue smoke is burnt oil, which is why it needs topping up often.

Oil burning may be due to worn cylinder bores, stuck piston rings, worn valve guides /valve stem oil seals or oil leaking past seals in the turbo.

Fixing any of these will entail dismantling and careful inspection to f=be sure of the cause, this will not be cheap even if the parts to repair are not costly.

If, after the repair, it runs well without visible blue smoke or heavy oil consumption, they have fixed it. Unless you take it to bits yourself you will have to take their word for whatever they have replaced.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - SC99

Thanks for the advice.

The dealer has offered to cover the cost of repair.

So if after it's repaired, it runs ok for around a month. Is it safe to say they've done a proper job? Meaning I shouldn't be having more engine troubles anytime soon.

Thanks.

Edited by SC99 on 07/11/2019 at 21:02

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Gibbo_Wirral

Depends what work they carry out.

But, as its *that* engine, and it won't be getting any younger, I guarantee you will be having more problems over the course of time.

Faulty used car - small claims court. - Avant

Thread closed - see other thread about this Mini Cooper, now in Motoring.

 

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