Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - pint6x

I bought am 8 year old Fiesta 1.25 zetec in August for SWMBO. Paid 3.5k for it, so pretty much top dollar.

Subsequently, in the 500 miles of driving it, we have had a few problems.

The water system has run completely dry and the water temperature light has come on. The car has no temperature gauge. Now, no water is leaking out, though the exhaust is spitting, which tells me water is getting into the engine and coming out through the exhaust, though checking the oil shows no emulsifying.

The water reservoir is full of K-Seal or similar, and there is a leak around the gasket. My conclusion is that someone knows the gasket is on the way out and has tried to seal it so it will hold up for a few months before the whole engine wrecks itself. The car has 98k miles and a FSH.

The rear cross-member behind the rear bumper is completely bent too, showing it's had a rear-end shunt at some point, but hasn't been repaired.

I had the car inspected by ClickMechanic - their most in-depth inspection, and the following catalogue of woe showed up:

1. The water system has completely run dry within 500 miles of driving. The water has NOT leaked anywhere, but is evident at the exhaust pipe, which indicates that water is getting through the water jacket into the engine somewhere. The water reservoir has copious amounts of K Seal (or similar) present, indicating that someone has identified a gasket leak and effected a temporary repair. This may hold out for a few months, but will eventually result in serious engine damage.
2. The rear cross-member is badly bent, indicating that the car has been involved in an accident, probably a rear-end shunt, and whoever has attempted repair has decided not to replace this.
3. Both rear wheels will not move without being driven. Either the brake shoes are stuck, or there is a problem with the wheel bearings.
4. Knocking noise is evident in the car, intermittently. Inspection reveals a badly deteriorating gearbox engine mount
5. The air conditioning condenser is leaking badly. Although the air conditioning works currently, this will not continue for very long
6. There is a fault code evident upon plugging in an engine diagnostic code reader indicating ‘Steering wheel position sensor’
7. There is an oil leak from the bottom of the car.
8. Both front tyres have legal tread on the middle of the tyres, but have cracks around the edges
9. One of the rear tyres is on the limit at 1.7mm tread – I did point this out when I saw the car originally, but it wasn’t replaced.

The most disappointing aspect of this is that I was assured the car would have an extensive safety check before being released, something which was instantly kicked into touch when I stopped 15 miles after collecting the car to check the tyre pressures and found one of the front tyres had 9psi in it.

I have sent the inpection report, supporting photographic evidence and a letter saying I want a full refund. I have also said I do not want them to try and repair the car, or swap it for something else on their forecourt.

I guess I'll need to give them a chance to inspect it, but I am not prepared to drive it (30 miles) to their garage given the rear cross-member issue.

Am I justified in this or should I let them attempt to repair all this and return the car to me?

Thanks all.

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - badbusdriver

I have one or two questions myself, such as;

Why pay top dollar for a car with mileage way above average for a supermini?

Did you not see the view the car before buying it?, if so, why did you buy the car without these issues having been fixed?

Why have the car inspected AFTER having bought (and presumably taken delivery of) it?

I'm not 100% sure on the legal aspect of returning the car, i.e, how long after purchase you can (at least attempt to) do this, but i think you probably can. As for getting the garage you bought the car from to fix it, no way, the car is obviously a dog. And i don't see why you'd need to take the car back to the garage for them to inspect it, they clearly didn't do it to start with, or (more likely) just don't care what kind of tat they sell. You have your inspection report, so just get your money back (threaten legal action if neccessary), and then go on however many platforms you can (Autotrader, Google, Facebook, etc) to share your experience with the garage.

Finally, assuming you can get your money back. Learn from your mistake, don't buy another car unless you have someone with you to inspect it who knows about cars, or pay someone like the AA, RAC or ClickMechanic to do this before parting with any money. There are plenty of crooks still out there flogging rubbish like this Fiesta to folk, like yourself, who are altogether far too trusting.

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - pint6x

The price was OK for the car/mileage/age. It wasn't overpriced. I am forensic in my price research, less so on the car condition. So why did I buy it?

The dealer was a nice guy. People buy from people - we talked motorbikes, holidays in Italy, and he said he always looked after people very well. So, I believed him. I had no idea the faults were present when I bought the car, and not being a mechanic, didn't crawl underneath. The engine was as clean as a whistle, and I now know why.

I have got my money back in full and the car has gone back. The dealer said this one 'slipped through the net' and they would never normally sell anything like this. I wouldn't expect anything else!

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - SLO76
What a nightmare! Another example of how important it is to have cars inspected by someone with a good mechanical knowledge before buying. You have also rather unfortunately missed the 30 day window for a refund too, I can’t understand why you left it so long if the head gasket issue was noted immediately. You will now have to let them try to fix it but again as with any 8yr old car you can’t expect it to be perfect. The engine has to be fixed and the rear wheels are likely to just be binding brakes a common issue with drums which will need cleaning and freeing off.

The rear crossmember being bent isn’t a disaster and yes it does indicate a rear end shunt but it can’t have been that heavy if the original is still there. It won’t be a safety issue and will make very little if any difference in a crash. I would want to HPI it to be sure it’s not a write-off though. You could get them to refund it in full if they’ve sold you one without telling you.

The rest of the faults are relative to its age even if they’re annoying. The a/c still works so you’ll get nowhere chasing him for that and a minor oil leak is again not a big issue on an older car. The tyres are legal too so again he’s not obliged to do anything either.

All in all a bad car bought badly an example of how not to do it. You overpaid (hugely) for a poor example and didn’t check it over beforehand. I’d speak (politely but firmly) to the dealer to see if they’ll come good (I doubt they will if they’re pedalling junk like this) and if not I’d seek out trading standards and ask them to take up the case.

You may just have to bite the bullet and accept you made a mistake here and offload it at your nearest auction for whatever you can get. If it runs and there’s no warning lights visible it’ll get reasonable money but you’ll still be looking at a big loss.

Edited by SLO76 on 04/10/2019 at 11:00

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - pint6x

I put the same question to Honest John of this parish, who has kindly provided the following reply:

You are well within the 6 month dealer liability limit for faults a car was sold with and the law is on your side: www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/ But the best bit is this, which you will find if you scroll down the FAQ: CONSUMER PROTECTION FROM UNFAIR TRADING REGULATIONS MAY 2008. 'Misleading Omissions' by the dealer when selling a car is both a criminal as well as a civil offence and recent case law now backs this up. So, while he may think he can get away from a CCJ by pleading no assets, he will be far less happy to get a criminal conviction. So that is how to threaten him.

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - Ian D
An honest trader who refunded promptly - good result

Edited by Ian D on 04/10/2019 at 15:41

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - badbusdriver

The dealer was a nice guy. People buy from people - we talked motorbikes, holidays in Italy, and he said he always looked after people very well

With all respect, its his job to be nice, and friendly, and to seem honest.

I think Mr 6X in his last but one post said he got a full refund and the car has gone back so the trader was a good guy after all

He was caught out and faced with an official report damning the condition of the car he sold, basically he didn't have a leg to stand. The fact that the OP got his money back doesn't make the dealer a 'good guy', it just means he was canny eough to realise that his only option was to refund as there is no way a court would rule in his favour with that report. Maybe, just maybe, it was a genuine mistake, but i find that highly unlikely.

Anyhoo, money has been refunded, so alls well etc, etc.

BTW, just to clarify, when i say it's his job, i'm talking specifically about traders who knowingly sell dodgy cars, not all car dealers!

Edited by badbusdriver on 04/10/2019 at 15:53

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - barney100

No dealer would miss that amount of faults, would give him a wide berth now.

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - pint6x

They did ask if we'd consider something else from the fine array of quality classics on their forecourt, though sadly I declined. The car we part-exed with them, which we got £500 for, is on their forecourt for £2,995. I know for a fact the diff is on the way out and the injectors are not happy, but I disclosed this when I sold it - maybe I shouldn't have done. The guy that was there today was a different guy and didn't know we part-exed the BMW 118i. I asked him what they'd done to it and was told "We had to spend £500 on paint to touch in and repair the bumper" , so there's another car they know has some serious faults which they're keen to retail.

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - SLO76
Welcome to the bottom end of the motor trade. You were lucky here that this dealer chose not to fight you over a refund, most of these guys don’t give in easily. Don’t make the same mistake with the next purchase. Ask for advice on here and post links to the adverts of cars you want to look at. It’s amazing what we can find out just from an advert.
Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - Devilsadvocate
Forgive me but this seems to be a very one sided situation that the ‘nice guy’ cannot respond to or put forward their points, don’t all be so quick to judge and be so critical. It would seem that their is a lot more to this story than is being told. Pint6x appears to have been severely wronged by this ‘nice guy’ that DID refund him on request. So the BMW that was part exchanged was ruined and sounds to be frank that it should have been scrapped not part exchanged. So of course you told them the injectors were shot along with the diff didn’t you? They would have been able to see the bodywork. Firstly how much may they have spent on that car, do you KNOW they have not fixed the other issues? The Fiesta does sound reasonably bad by your description, however that is the picture you have painted, would you have been happy to have what sounds like a terrible BMW back? It seems that people are quick to call this ‘nice guy’ that refunded you without argument a rogue trader, suggest the guy is a crook, refer to his other offerings as ‘classics’ and so on.
I think it is great to discuss experiences on this forum and get positive feedback from others but it seems that your issues were reasonably well handled by this ‘nice guy’ which again raises a question. You went to view an overpriced car, which when challenged by another member it was not so overpriced, it in fact was priced well as you did a lot of ‘forensic’ research, you were not shy to throw them a pup in exchange, plainly you had some problems BUT if challenged and examined would it all be true, like the overpriced car statement. The result was that you were refunded and got rid of your scrap but the ‘nice guy’ is still a rogue. I wouldn’t want his job!
Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - Brit_in_Germany

Which bit of "I disclosed this when I sold it" don't you understand?

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - Devilsadvocate

Which bit of "I disclosed this when I sold it" don't you understand?

Hello, and what insight may I ask do you have in this situation? So this is a closed book on 1 persons side? You know that all you are told is true, I bet you read the newspapers too! Don’t be so naive, it is a form of hatred against the general motor trade that is being displayed here, what do you know about this one sided argument more than anyone else? I understand he had a problem, it was handled so why all the ‘rogue’ comments and the additions barrage of belittling this person that is not there to put the other side of the story into the mix. You can’t judge a situation you had no part in or take sides, particularly not attack a person you have no knowledge of or ever met! So what I am asking you is ‘what part of that don’t you understand?’
Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - paul 1963

Which bit of "I disclosed this when I sold it" don't you understand?

Hello, and what insight may I ask do you have in this situation? So this is a closed book on 1 persons side? You know that all you are told is true, I bet you read the newspapers too! Don’t be so naive, it is a form of hatred against the general motor trade that is being displayed here, what do you know about this one sided argument more than anyone else? I understand he had a problem, it was handled so why all the ‘rogue’ comments and the additions barrage of belittling this person that is not there to put the other side of the story into the mix. You can’t judge a situation you had no part in or take sides, particularly not attack a person you have no knowledge of or ever met! So what I am asking you is ‘what part of that don’t you understand?’

With all due respect it's sorted, little point in arguing over the wrongs and rights, I'm glad the op got it resolved, let's move on........

Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 2011 - Bought very dodgy used car - SLO76
Having been in the trade for many years both as salesman for a large dealer and as a home trader I fully understand the issues in this case. The dealer is supposed to be the professional, any car he sells at retail money should be checked and prepared properly and things like a failed head gasket would be glaringly obvious if the car was looked over. This car was overpriced for the mileage and clearly (if the OP is being honest) hasn’t been near a workshop for a once over. Being overpriced isn’t something you can complain about after buying however is it?

Yes punters are almost always completely dishonest when it comes to their trade in and we’ve only got the OP’s word that they did inform the dealer of the faults on their own car (be honest who does this?) but again it’s down to the professional to vet the part exchange properly and value it accordingly.

The chap did redeem himself by fully refunding rather than messing the buyer about but there’s no denying (again if the OP is being accurate) that this car shouldn’t have been sold in this condition and that the trade in having faults is hardly a defence. I would never have put a car like this out the door and I certainly wouldn’t be in tears if the part exchange turned out to be a pup. An old BMW isn’t something anyone with an eye to their reputation would retail anyway, it would be a trade bucket sale for what it cost or near or off to auction.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car