AO Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: I would rather not say
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.