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son buys car without dad present disaster #1641172
18/05/2020 15:44
18/05/2020 15:44
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
So let me tell you the cautionary tale.. and then ask for your advice.

My son has just left college and with no full time job and a large wedge of cash burning a hole in his pocket he set out on the path to find a second hand car.

Despite my advice, his mothers (and her partners) he insisted on viewing a car not very far from an advert on Facebook Marketplace.

It was fairly obvious this person was doing some "home dealing" as they had several cars available for sale from their flat. All *cough* private sales of course.

He took the car for a quick drive liked it and paid up. Then paid the balance the following day and guess what.. within twenty miles the car had boiled over and the water pump is leaking badly.

this is where Dad gets called and now has to deal with the resulting mess. Trading standards informed but a very hard position to come back from given he has handed over the money and the seller is insisting that it's a private deal. Even if it's a private sale I think he sold the car with a major fault known to him and listed the car as "excellent condition", I suspect he bought it for pennies, bodged a repair and then sold it on, but again hard to prove unless I can contact the previous owner. I think we have a case so a letter is being sent giving him time to resolve or I will sell the car and then take it to the small claims court for the loss. Garage on the service manual contacted who said they knew the car and the problems and the guy that owned it at the time has lost faith and sold it or p/x'd is somewhere.

So this is where I need the clued up residents of FCCUK for some help in diagnosing the problem.

the car is over heating and leaking coolant and this is where I could do with some advice to see if anyone has come across this before.

I think what is happening is that there is a leak / crack in the head , block or head gasket that is forcing gas into the water system (it's a diesel). This seems to be pressurising the water system and then blowing hoses, water pumps and expansion tanks. So question is.. does that sound like a reasonable explanation of the problem, anyone come across anything similar? is there anyway to diagnose this at home? Can't see any mayonnaise on the oil cap but then I suspect that may have been cleaned and serviced with new oil to hide it.

Sigh.. kids..


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Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641187
18/05/2020 21:35
18/05/2020 21:35
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,370
Lightwater, Surrey, UK
DaveG Offline
Club Member 311
DaveG  Offline
Club Member 311
Forum is my life

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,370
Lightwater, Surrey, UK
Previous owner name and address should be listed on V5C but directory enquiries look-ups rarely work these days (many people choose not to be listed). Can you make copies of other ad's by the same seller? (FB, eBay, Gumtree, etc.) What was previous garage's description of problem, why didn't they fix it? I guess they won't give you previous owner's details?

Leaking head gasket or crack in the head could produce those symptoms I suppose, compression test might show it, but need a high pressure (diesel) gauge, can't use one designed for a petrol engine. If you start engine with coolant cap removed can you see/hear gas escaping? Does the engine run ok? Not low on power or misfiring or anything? Is coolant level full? Any signs of old leaks anywhere - hoses, rad, water pumps, reservoir, core plugs, turbo, etc.

Did you get a sold "as seen and tested" receipt? How much money is at stake, what car/age is it?


1996 Portofino 20vt & 2000 Pearl White Plus
1985½ & 2016 2017 Fiat 124 Spider + XF Sportbrake
Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641192
19/05/2020 10:13
19/05/2020 10:13
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
All ad's printed and V5 change dates identified as well which shows he buys, puts in his name and then sells within a short space. He's sold about five cars in the past 6 months, two others for sale at the moment. He also works for a well known motor company. He also has things like "finance can be arranged along with delivery", not something you would expect in a private sale.

Previous garage did change the head gasket at what ever cost but we dont have any paperwork just the service book (guess anything suspect was thrown in the bin), they have looked after the car and serviced it as well but I am hopeful that they will give my sons contact details to the old owner and then fingers crossed we can meet up and get him on video confirming he owned the car and where he sold it and for how much. My big hope is that there is an advert which shows the car being sold with the fault identified and our private seller knows the issue and didn't disclose it. In that case the private seller *could* be held liable, but I am still convinced he is trading for profit.

A couple of grand, car is nine years old. not the end of the world as the car is worth upwards of £500 even if it's broken. But my son has spent more getting the water pump fixed and the expansion tank has split.

Just given me an idea, I guess if the engine is leaking then there will be a build up of CO2 (or whatever) in the water system. Wonder if there is someway of testing for that.

He got the standard private seller "sold as seen" receipt. I will see the car this weekend so can have a look and do some checks myself.


How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy
Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641194
19/05/2020 10:36
19/05/2020 10:36
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 12,606
Watford
MarioCirillo Offline
Ex El Presidente
MarioCirillo  Offline
Ex El Presidente
I AM a Coop

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 12,606
Watford
I think it's one of lives lessons for your son. Sadly we all grow up learning the hard way - ce la vie
Hope you get it sorted and it doesn't turn into a money pit thumb


Proud Owner of Rosso Speed LE041
Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641196
19/05/2020 11:54
19/05/2020 11:54
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,794
Pothole City
GrahamL Offline
Forum is my job
GrahamL  Offline
Forum is my job

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,794
Pothole City
Originally Posted by sugerbear
I guess if the engine is leaking then there will be a build up of CO2 (or whatever) in the water system. Wonder if there is someway of testing for that.


Yes, search for "Combustion Leak Tester Kit" on ebay or amazon.

Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641201
19/05/2020 14:01
19/05/2020 14:01
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 121
Troon, South Ayrshire
Alan_K Offline
Club member 1599
Alan_K  Offline
Club member 1599
On a journey

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 121
Troon, South Ayrshire
Have you looked into the thermostat being bad

Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: Alan_K] #1641207
19/05/2020 17:31
19/05/2020 17:31
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
Originally Posted by Alan_K
Have you looked into the thermostat being bad


another thing to check but the coolant disappears which is why I suspect a crack or bad head gasket. Might be the original garage did a rubbish job of changing the head gasket but dont really want to chuck another £500 to find out.


How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy
Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641209
19/05/2020 18:36
19/05/2020 18:36
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 121
Troon, South Ayrshire
Alan_K Offline
Club member 1599
Alan_K  Offline
Club member 1599
On a journey

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 121
Troon, South Ayrshire
Yes but if they did do a decent job of the head gasket and it’s went again
Then the thermostat will be the route of the problem

Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: Alan_K] #1641214
20/05/2020 10:07
20/05/2020 10:07
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
Originally Posted by Alan_K
Yes but if they did do a decent job of the head gasket and it’s went again
Then the thermostat will be the route of the problem


I will take a look, thanks


How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy
Re: son buys car without dad present disaster [Re: sugerbear] #1641358
26/05/2020 15:02
26/05/2020 15:02
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
S
sugerbear Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
sugerbear  Offline OP
Je suis un Coupé
S

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,691
Harpenden
and so the fun continues.

Checked the car and there are bubbles coming up through the water reservoir, when I take the oil filler cap off there is a definite chugging and a mist appearing as if something is blowing even from cold. When I tried to take the water cap off there was a vacuum so difficult to remove as well.

Then got hold of the garage that serviced the car originally and they told me the full story. Basically engine knackered and sold on by the previous owner for £400 to someone that wanted a "project" to fix up.

I have checked the advert and it's described as excellent condition and great runner so I have a remote hope under the misrepresentation act even if it is a private sale.

Also hopeful that the number of cars he has sold in the past six months is a clear indicator he is "trade" not private.


How to make a startrek widget cable >> http://tinyurl.com/dyje6fy

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