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Thread: New 2nd hand car head gasket probs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Red face New 2nd hand car head gasket probs

    Bit of a lengthy 1 sorry!

    I purchased a 53 plate Rover 25, 61700 Miles on 08/01/2011. I hadnt wanted another rover after experiencing head-gasket problems with my last 1, but he assured me that he was so confident it wouldnt happen with this 1 he would give me 12month warranty on headgasket instead of 3. It was the only car he had in my price range, infact he reduced screen price by £495, it was getting late in the day &my Dad &I had been car shopping all day, so I agreed to put a deposit down. On reflection, I felt a little pressured into buying it. I collected the car 2days later with MOT, however he did try & get out of the 12month warranty on the headgasket, he had conveniently forgotten saying that.

    By mid-march (just 2months & only 1100miles) I noticed the car behaving symptomatic of head-gasket, (i.e. losing water, water in the oil cap, fan staying on even after short journeys, burning smell). I called the dealer Monday 14/03/11 to tell him I thought the headgasket is going to which he replied quite patronisingly "What makes you think that love"? - told him the above & he said for me to take it in. I dropped it off the next afternoon. I tried to contact them the next day several times for an update, &evetually got hold of him the next day (Thurs late afternoon), & he informed me "Yer we need to put a new head gasket on that for you, when do you want us to start?" - To which I replied that I was expecting the job to be done as had told them needed the car for Friday as I have 2 jobs, &I know its a 2day job. He told me his workshop had been chocker &could start it Saturday, said I could go & get the car that night, &return it Saturday if I was desperate but he would rather I didnt drive it in its current condition, so I left it with them.
    They had the car for total of 8days, returning it to my Dad while I was on holiday. The next time I used the car was Sat 26/03/11, the water was on max so all seemed ok, however by Monday night, the water was back down to minimum & I was still getting the burning smell. Also a fitter at my work looked under bonnet &said in his opinion the engine had not been removed to do the job as nuts &bolts had no marks to suggest they had been unscrewed. Plus there appeared to be oil in the water resevoir. My suspicions were immediately raised at this point.
    I contatced the dealer &asked him for a report of the work done, as none had been given when the car was given back, he kept asking me to call back as he needed to speak to the workshop to ask them.
    Eventually on the Weds (1 week after returning the car to me) - admitted the headgasket wasnt done (as said it didnt need it) &said they would have to have another look at it &asked if I could take it over that day - I was unable to get out of work at such short notice &only get a half hour lunch break, plus worked late every night so was unable to get over there, so I called him yesterday to arrange to book it in &he said his workshop was booked up till Weds (I should have asked was it booked up with people taking their cars back!!!), I told him that the car is now juddering when accelerating, engine warning light coming on & water ice cold even when engine hot, still said he couldnt fit me in till Weds & that if I had "bothered" to bring it in last week we wouldnt be having this conversation, replied that I had told them I couldnt get over there &that if they had done job in first place we wouldnt be having this conversation, kept telling me I was going down memory lane by asking what they did with my car for 8days &why job wasnt done in first place, just kept telling me to get the car to him on Weds &told me he has never heard someone "waffle" as must as me!! - Told him I have a right to know what they did with my car but again said I am going down memory lane & see you weds! - Told him he just wants to get me off the phone & he said he has other things to be doing!
    Also accused me of "rallying car around fields & grass verges" due to splashes from my works carpark (during heavy rain the potholes filled with dirty water) - certainly not mud & grass! Also told me I has to get it steam cleaned before I could take it back to them, the fitter in my work cleaned it for me but told me they were just making excuses as it was not excessive dirt at all.
    Obviously I am not driving the car now since it has been displaying the new symptoms, but have got to get it over to them tomorrow.
    I have had a look on consumer direct website and got quite a bit of info from there to take with me, and will be taking my dad with me, has anyone expereinced anything like this, I feel he is just fobbing me off, had his money off me &is not interested in sorting the problem out, thinks I will just walk away (which I wont!!).

    Thanks for reading & any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007


    According to the law, The car would be deemed to have been faulty at the time of the sale and not fit for purpose.

    The fact that they were given the chance to fix it and didn't means they are in breach of the Sale of Goods act section 13.

    Don't waste your time arguing with him on the phone. Write a letter to him stating that the car was faulty and you have given him the opportunity to fix it (which they didn't). You need to write firm instructions of what you want done (either a full refund or the car fixed) and give them a date to have this concluded by. Then if he does nothing you can make a claim against him using money claim online.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008


    Welcome to the world of dodgy car dealers. They still exist, unfortunately. He has to give you 6 months warranty so if he says anything else, its nonsense. Follow MrDanno's advice and I would also contact Consumer Direct before you see him if possible. Then when he starts being difficult, tell him you have advised Trading Standards and stay firm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Quote..." Write a letter to him stating that the car was faulty and you have given him the opportunity to fix it"

    Good idea, and keep a copy of everything you send for yourself, including the dates of all correspondence, good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Thanks everyone, they are now fixing the problem and have even lent me another car for the duration!

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