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Second-hand car sales: one way they try to rip you off.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jacob, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    I don't know how many of the "public" know about cambelts on engines. Not all engines have them, but those that do need a new one after a certain number of miles or years.
    Recently I looked at two cars of the same model one with 60,000 miles and the other with 32, 500 miles, both were 6 years old. the manufacturer recommends that the cambelt be replaced at 54,000 miles or six years whichever comes earlier. The place selling the 60,000 miler had a service record but the cambelt had obviously not been done, but the salesman could only say "Its a one owner car, and its got a full service histroy." the first was irrelevant, and the second not stricly true. The lower mileage car was at the main dealer, and all they said when asked if they would do the cambelt was that it would cost 292 quid and they would look at the trade in on my car and "make an adjustment", in other words charge the buyer for the work.
    Obviously in both cases they want some sucker who falls for their flannel to come along and take these cars off their hands and the only risk they take is if the cambelt goes twang during their paltry three month warranty. I know of people who have had to scrap cars because the cambelt broke.
    Surely, both these "sellers" should be only selling avehicle that is fully roadworthy with an MOT, but also confroms to the manufacturers recommendations about this vital part of the engine.
  2. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Apologies for dodgy spellings above.
  3. I made the mistake of buying a car at 60k miles and then consequently realising it needed its cambelt doing. A lesson learnt!

  4. Thanks for this Jacob. My car is on 53900 miles and I'm about to get it serviced so will get cam belt changed. O/h used to remember these things.
  5. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    jacob, is the cam belt the same as the timing belt?
    I'd ask my husband, but he appears to have buggered off fishing. Again...
  6. second hand cars are sold as seen ... why is it a rip-off if they have not done work such as you suggest
  7. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter


    Not all cars require their cambelts to be changed at the same time or mileage. Check your owner's handbook.
  8. About 17 years ago I was driving my husband's car when the cambelt went - what a scary experience, the car turned to suldge under me. I seemed to lose all control somehow, I don't understand the mechanics of it, I think I couldn't even brake. It took 8 weeks to get it fixed and cost well over £1000.
    Regarding the OP, though, I would say it's up to the buyer to check that sort of thing. I would always get an AA or RAC check. Worth the expense, IME.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I agree with the OP.
    It's a rip-off because the dealer will almost always know about it and despite being an "expert" they neglect to tell you, lying by omission in my book. Also as mentioned the cars are usually advertised as "fully serviced" which is not entirely true if they are overdue a cam belt change. For many people this is why they go to a dealer rather than a private seller - they assume they will deal with the stuff they don't know about themselves.
  10. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Thanks, harshie. I'm breathing a sigh of relief here, as I had my timing belt replaced at 81,000 miles last year. Was worried that this was yet another 'belt' that needed replacing! I know... I'm a pillock. [​IMG]
    I paid £170 for the belt kit and fitting (inc.VAT). I use a small, local independent garage. The lads that work there are genuine, salt of the earth folk, who just love cars (they do rallying in their spare time). They've even done work on my car for free.
  11. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    You do know they fancy you?

    On topic. I dropped out of buying a TT a while back because the dealer claimed FSH and when I asked for an overdue the belt replacement at their expense and specifically guaranteed they declined. This Audi dealer wouldn't see the contradiction even though the warranty they were offering required the belt to be changed on time.

    I decided *** to the bumptious brand and bought BMW.
  12. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Lurk, I am literally PMSL at the thought that anyone (husband aside) would fancy me at my advanced age! But thanks anyway. [​IMG]
  13. Manny ...you drink real ale...you are into F1...you fart under the duvet and now you admit to excessive cam belt slippage. I don't think I can find a pedestal high enough for you.

    What red blooded mechanic would not fancy you more than a gleaming Porche? :¬))
  14. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Awww, Baubs - you silver tongued charmer, you! [​IMG]

  15. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    To those who still think it is "caveat emptor". Yes, up to a point, but I would expect it to be a grey area under the sale of goods act. If the manufacturer recommends the cam belt change at a specific time/mileage I consider the vehicle to have been registered as "faulty" under said act, and would expect the dealer to be upfront about it and get it done.
    Note: 54,000 was the quoted figure for the Mitsubishi Lancer I was looking at, other manufacturers have different mileages. I think BMWs have internal timing chains rather than external belts - they don't break.
    I have pretty much decided now to keep my current car.
  16. Buying from a dealer (for the make) I would expect any essential work to be done ... but not from a 2nd hand dealer or private
  17. 75 k or 5 years here.
    I wouldn't buy one without the paperwork proving it.
  18. But then they should prove it has or hasn't been done.
    I do not agree with jacob that the seller must do it.
  19. Perhaps I misread ... I thought that they had said that it had not been done
    The first seller that is

    But that the actual dealer was selling it as fully serviced
  20. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Whyever not?

    You just make sure you've deducted the cost of a belt change from thepurchase price and then get it done elsewhere.

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