Take My Advice... - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 6 Old 26-08-08 Thread Starter
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Madness Take My Advice...

....and dont buy from car supermarkets.

I know, generally speaking, they are shunned on here anyway, but just in case someone has seen the car of their dreams at a bargain price, allow me to enlighten you to a few potential problems.

The missus got her car just over a year ago. A lovely black Nissan Tino 1.8 to haul the kids around in. She loves it. It has room in the back for a football team (her words, worringly - not mine) and the various seating arrangements meant that the huge buggie and obligatory toys and nappies and bottles could all be stored safely and easily. There is also a drawer under the passenger seat which she thought was cool for storing little "knick knacks and stuff". It has a large screen displaying whats behind you when you reverse, plus all the information you could think of regarding fuel consumption, engine performance (like it has any) and the like. In short, she was smitten. It was also a good £3000 less than the others we had seen, had sporty skirts on it, nice alloys, and was a nice metallic black rather than the popular bogey green that i seem to see everywhere.

For awhile everything was grand. I heard nothing but praise for her new purchase. The kids fell asleep within seconds due to its steady gentle drive, the engine was whisper quiet, the sunroof was cool, the air con was cold, the button that locked the rear windows was a good idea, etc, etc. Then came the problems. You only get a 28 day warranty as standard, hardly any time at all. But she was convinced that Japanese cars were reliable and that it would serve her well.

Well, 9 months down the line she noticed the steering wheel wobble intensly under braking which had, incidentally, become very noisy. OK, i thought, warped discs. So i changed them. Bear in mind that this car has done a total of 1400 since she took ownership. The discs and pads were non-existent and should have been replaced 1400 miles ago. There is a nasty rumble when slowing down from 60 in 5th that rattles the gear knob. The exhaust needed replacing too.

The car is only used to take the kids to school and back, with the occasional trip to a friends near by. It drinks more oil than my Alfa ever has. But, it has never let her down.

Today was MOT day and she was optomistic that it would pass. It didn't. Brake hose needs replacing as its badly corroded. The mechanic, who i know quite well, asked me if i parked it in water. I said no, obviously. He also said that he had never come across it before on a car so young, its on an 04 plate and has covered just 28,000 miles. I fact that made him ask the first question.

So, to everyone tempted to give them a try. Walk on. Who knows where they get their cars from. When asked, the salesman said rather curiously "everywhere" and left it at that. I have been on the phone to them several times complaining about the problems she has had and explaining that there shouldn't have been any like that in such a short space of time. I get the impression that the MOT that comes with the car wasn't actually done at all.

I may be wrong about thinking that these parts shouldn't need replacing, but to me it seems unlikely. It makes no difference though, as the company couldn't care less.

Never Test The Depth Of Water With Both Feet.
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Re: Take My Advice...

I actually quite like the big car supermarkets. As I live in SW London I can easily get to the Cargiant at White City and the Carcraft at Byfleet/Egham way.

Why do I like them? Because if I'm contemplating buying a car they are a terrific way to go and do some comparative viewing.

If, for example, I can't decide on what sort of 4 door saloon I want I can go there and within 100 yards of each other I can sit in and walk around a Beemer, an Audi, and Alfa and a Saab and see how they feel and look. Is one appreciably bigger/smaller/better laid out inside?

Once I've made up my short list - I then go absolutely anywhere else on the planet but there to buy the car from........

They buy in high mileage (for year), unloved, workhorse cars from fleet disposals, auctions and px clearance - give them a wash down, fudge up some paperwork and bang them out cheap with zero customer service and expensive finance. I wouldn't accuse them of clocking - but who knows...

Outside of the proverbial little old lady private sales - there are NO bargains in the car market.
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Re: Take My Advice...

Never biught from one of the supermarket type place but recently bought my Alfa from a local used car garage with 3 sites in this area. Won't buy again. I love my Alfa but had delays getting it beause they didn't seem to know what they were doing - key needed replaced. Had an MOT for 1 year but when I went to collect both rear tail lights were cracked - passed it's MOT like that but garage did replace when I got onto them about it. Generally service was poor after I had parted with money, car came with a warranty that appears to cover next to nothing - anti roll bar droplink needs done but not covered by warranty. Have had car less than 3 months. First time I have bought from a garage and not had a good experience.
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Re: Take My Advice...

Just a thought - could it have been one caught in last years floods and not recorded as a write off? Nissans nowadays are not particularly rust prone, and mechanically they are pretty robust. Could be worth doing a history check
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(Post Link) post #5 of 6 Old 26-08-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Take My Advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott1s View Post
Just a thought - could it have been one caught in last years floods and not recorded as a write off? Nissans nowadays are not particularly rust prone, and mechanically they are pretty robust. Could be worth doing a history check
Never thought of that.
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Re: Take My Advice...

That was my thought ! HPI might flag something.
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