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(Post Link) post #1 of 22 Old 13-09-08 Thread Starter
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Used Car Problems

Bought my 52 plate 156 in June this year from a non franchised car dealer. Car was supplied with a 12 month warranty cover underwritten by a 3rd party.

As I had no evidence of cam belt ever being changed I arranged for this to be done at an Alfa indie (Auto Veloce in Troon) along with a BMC CDA fitted. This was done but Auto Veloce gave car general examination as well. Discovered that suspension on both sides at front needs replaced - upper and lower arms and droplinks. They called warranty who eventually came back stating not covered as wear and tear, warranty advised me to call garage I bought car from.

I had a noise from suspension a couple of weeks after I bought car, took it to garage who basically listened to noise and said probably drop links, these would not be covered and if we have to look and diagnose we will charge you, let fault develop.

I was back onto them yesterday and basically ended up arguing with firstly service manager then the after sales manager. Was told that all cars done to MOT standard (MOT has been issued by them) and what do expect 2nd hand? especially 3 months later. I was also assurred by after sales manager my warranty was "good and comprehensive" and when I asked him why he was of this opinion he said "I'm not here to justify that to you". Eventually agreed to inspect car for free but doesn't know what else they can do. I feel I will just get a quote for repair from them. Also said they have no real interest in what another garage says.

Also warranty booklet has not been stamped to confirm pre delivery inspection for warranty purpose was made. Garage keep sticking to "we prep our cars to MOT standard"

Is everything the garage are doing / have said to me right enough or is there anything else I can do? It is the first time I have ever bought a car from a garage and I am now determined it will be my last.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Is it not just a case of whether the garage warranty wording covers it?

If it doesn't then on a 6yr old car after 3 months of ownership not sure you will get it done for free.

Bush wear to the front and rear on 156s is an issue. I drove my 156 for years (and it got through MOTs) with a grumbling front end.

In my experience a used car warranty is often not worth bothering with. It is nothing like an all embracing new car warranty.
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Re: Used Car Problems

I'd agree, if it's not covered in the warranty, I don't think you'll get much further, unless you can demonstrate either 1) that it wasn't of merchantable quality, or 2) that it got slipped through the MoT when it shouldn't have.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Generally used car warranties only cover repairs following a (serious) breakdown ... I have to be honest but I usually negotiate a price that does not include a warranty
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Re: Used Car Problems

I don't think I will get anywhere either to be honest. I am more angry with the attitude and service I have had from the garage from the start. I am not over keen on them touching the car as I don't trust them either. The other garage said the car was unlikely to have developed the problems in the time I have had the car but original garage just keep saying it was MOT'd so must have been OK. I lack faith in it as MOT was issued by them and find it hard to believe if car had been properly gone over by them these faults would not have been noticed. I feel that if they inspected the car as stringently as they said they must have known about this and sold it on without repair. I also complained about noise from the front brake and was told it was "OK on test" by them. Turns out front discs are well worn and mis shaped. I complained of noise inside a week of purchase but got no where.

I understand that cars can cost but I have bought all of the cars I have ever bought 2nd (at least) hand and never had this amount of bother, never mind inside a few weeks. When I said this I was told that I "must be lucky" Certainly don't feel like it just now!!
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Re: Used Car Problems

Can you name and shame the garage? Sounds awfully like an A C branch to me . . . . . . . . . . .
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Re: Used Car Problems

Garage was Bridegend Group, an Ayrshire based garage with 3 sites in this area. I had avoided AC as I know people who have had problems there.

Never had a warranty before so didn't know what to expect from it and was told it would give me 12 months trouble free. I did not see warranty policy docs until it had been paid for. Will never take a warranty again.
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Re: Used Car Problems

When we bought my wifes first scenic they put new brake pads on ... they seemed to be squeaking quite badly so I approached the garage we bought it from and they said it was quite normal ... a year later it fails the MOT because the brake pads are worn through, turns out when they changed the pads they hadn't done it properly ... so I contacted the original garage and they picked up the bill for replacing them ... I would highly recommend Castle Motors Sandhurst Ltd ... although they don't seem to sell many Alfa's ...
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Re: Used Car Problems

I really wouldn't pay for an insurance backed used car warranty unless it came free with the car.

There is always a catch (or parts and labour you pay for on top).

I agree with 156Chris, on a six year old car, negotiate a keen price, pay cash, and unless its stolen or written off treat it like a private sale.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Have learned a lot from this - 1st (and last) time I will buy from a garage. Warranty came with the car instead of equivalent being discounted but receipt shows as if I paid for it.

I feel like they passed on this car knowing there would be probs but I can't prove this. It was MOT'd by them but I have been advised the fact the suspension was getting worn badly should have been picked up at the MOT even if it was still within an acceptable limit. No advisory notes etc were issued which is poor. The garage I MOT my cars at always give me notes on things that pass but will wear out soon and need replaced. I actually now doubt the garage's honesty a bit although I have probably been a bit naive. Hard lesson for me but hopefully I will learn. It has also not put me off Alfa Romeo's either thankfully
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Re: Used Car Problems

They are lovely cars. Had two - loved 'em.
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Re: Used Car Problems

I thought that cars bought from delears were supposed to be of merchantable quality, and that you should expect reasonaly trouble free motoring for a given period (usually 6 months) after you bought it. Unless it was sold as seen/trade sale etc...

The wishbones must have been worn when they sold you the car, they don't wear out in 3 months.

I would ask the garage to fix it, and if not threated them with trading standards. The warranty they sold you with the car does not excuse them from supplying you with a car that needs money spending on it like that.

A lot of the above also depends on how much you paid for the car. I think the cutoff pont where you can reasonably expect a car to have a few faults is below £2000 IIRC. I assume you paid more for it that that.

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Re: Used Car Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
I thought that cars bought from delears were supposed to be of merchantable quality, and that you should expect reasonaly trouble free motoring for a given period (usually 6 months) after you bought it. Unless it was sold as seen/trade sale etc...

The wishbones must have been worn when they sold you the car, they don't wear out in 3 months.

I would ask the garage to fix it, and if not threated them with trading standards. The warranty they sold you with the car does not excuse them from supplying you with a car that needs money spending on it like that.

A lot of the above also depends on how much you paid for the car. I think the cutoff pont where you can reasonably expect a car to have a few faults is below £2000 IIRC. I assume you paid more for it that that.
The trouble is that you are talking about a car that has a known premature failure and wear rate on these components. These components will not last forever and whilst I would agree a synchro (say) should not go in the gearbox if AR won't accept liability its hard to see why the garage should.

Sounds like I'm a dodgy dealer
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Re: Used Car Problems

Even so... You should reasonably expect a car sold to you to give you a certain period of trouble free motoring. If its a known fault the dealer should have checked it before they sold it. The fact that they are non franchised dealer who have sold Alfa's before makes it even more the case.

The dealer will have aquired the car themselves at a vastly lower price than what they sold it. The supposed reason why they don't pay that much for cars is for profit reasons as well as so they can get any faults sorted before selling so that is is "Merchantable quality".
if they are not doing that then they shouldn't be in buisness.

Danant, have a word with your local Citizens advice bureau, and tell them what you have posted here. See what they say.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Need to wait until Monday as I am off then. I know things fail on cars but if they are a particular problem I feel they should have checked before sale. I am also annoyed because I know these components should have shown wear when inspected by them - even if it passed MOT I would have thought they should have mentioned this.
Car was not trade in to clear / sold as seen or anything like that. Already paid to have cam belt change done as I could find nothing to show it had ever been done.

I am mostly angry at the garage because I am sure they must have known about these faults and that they would develop but didn't bother to fix before they presented the car for sale. All they state is that car was MOT standard - however the MOT itself says this does not mean your car is of satisfactory condition. Being honest I doubt I will get anything from it but I will continue anyway. Will need to get a quoete for the work as I do need to get it done.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Did the garage get the MOT on the car before you bought it? As it used to be quite common for a selling dealer to have an arrangement with the MOT station, so that all cars pass.

It may well have been dodgy, even though it has an MOT.

Even so as 3 months have passed you probably won't get far by reporting the MOT station.

Good luck on monday, and let us know how you get on. Remember the law is mostly on your side with this one.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
Did the garage get the MOT on the car before you bought it? As it used to be quite common for a selling dealer to have an arrangement with the MOT station, so that all cars pass.

It may well have been dodgy, even though it has an MOT.

Even so as 3 months have passed you probably won't get far by reporting the MOT station.

Good luck on monday, and let us know how you get on. Remember the law is mostly on your side with this one.
not naive enough to think that some mot s have been issued ,when they shoudent,
but quite common is streching it a bit,both the mot tester and the garage has thier own liecense-anyone caught doing what you suggest and indeed a lot less would face major problems if caught
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Re: Used Car Problems

I know of one garage that will definitely give out dodgy MOTs (I have never been there though) ... mainly for the transfer of personalised number plates ... if you have a personalised number plate and you want to transfer it then the car has to have an MOT, so if you car has failed miserably and you want to scrap it what other option have you got???
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Re: Used Car Problems

MOT was done by the selling garage which I feel is a conflict of interest for them right there.

Have spoke to a couple of folk already but they can't see me getting much as the parts and wear and tear. In some ways I feel like I am just opening up for another pointless discussion or argument with them when I go tee see them on Tuesday.
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Re: Used Car Problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
I thought that cars bought from delears were supposed to be of merchantable quality, and that you should expect reasonaly trouble free motoring for a given period (usually 6 months) after you bought it. Unless it was sold as seen/trade sale etc...

The wishbones must have been worn when they sold you the car, they don't wear out in 3 months.

I would ask the garage to fix it, and if not threated them with trading standards. The warranty they sold you with the car does not excuse them from supplying you with a car that needs money spending on it like that.

A lot of the above also depends on how much you paid for the car. I think the cutoff pont where you can reasonably expect a car to have a few faults is below £2000 IIRC. I assume you paid more for it that that.
You are correct. The warranty is irrelevant. There is a presumption in the revised Sale of Goods Act that says that if a car develops a fault within the first 6 months it is assumed it was there when the item was sold.

However Ayrshire is in Scottish land and its a totally different set of rules.
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Re: Used Car Problems

The trouble is that MOT inspectors have to rely on judgement and, in marginal cases one will say "failure" and another will say "pass". Both are right.

You were told:-

"Was told that all cars done to MOT standard"

so it might be hard to argue that it was faulty at the time of sale.

They say that they will inspect the car for free - let them do so and see what their opinion is (I am willing to hazard a guess).

If you still wish to pursue it afterwards get a third opinion - if they agree with the first garage then you are on to a loser.

Good luck.

Paul

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(Post Link) post #22 of 22 Old 15-09-08 Thread Starter
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Re: Used Car Problems

Just dropped my car off for it to be inspected and garage will get back to me tomorrow. They asked if I had a report from the other garage so Auto Veloce are going to do one and get it down to them for me as well. Found at strange as they initially said they didn't care what another garage said.

I know there is a judgement element involved in an MOT but the garage I took it to said they don't believe the fault has developed since I took ownership. Even if it passed it should have been noticeable during the MOT that suspension was getting worn.

Still not going to hold my breath waiting for anything though but you never know I suppose
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