Bought a lemon?


#1

Hello. Three months ago I purchased a 2000 Ford Windstar from a friend for $4000 cash. He and our shared mechanic stated there was never any problems with the mimivan. In three months I have put $1200 into it (not counting towing costs!). I have replaced transmission hose, a crank sensor, and an intake gasket (with an accompanying sensor). Should I approach my friend about this? Should I still consider him a friend? I am interested in what you all have to say! Thank you!


#2

Were all those problems apparent when you bought it? Chances are you did not notice them, nor did your fried. Likely the mechanic did not notice them, in fact at the time of the sale there may have been no indications of the impending failure.

Frankly it sounds like you just had some bad luck. Hopefully you will have some good luck in the future to make up for it.


#3

As long as the sale was done in got faith, and your friend did not have a clue that these problems existed before the sale then, no you should not.

Its a eight year old vehicle, there will be problems. You only paid $4000.00 for a vehicle that if new would be between $20000.00 and $30000.00 grand you cant expect like new reliability.


#4

It’s a used vehicle that is 7 years old. You should expect to make some repairs. The repairs you listed are not out of the ordinary for a vehicle of that age. How many miles are on the van?


#5

Thanks for the reply. the van has 118,000 miles. I know I should expect repairs, but they are cleaning me out!!


#6

You bought a used 8 year old van and do not state how many miles on this vehicle.
So I’ll ask; how many?

Your friend has done nothing wrong that I can see at this point.
To avoid friction with friends, buy a brand new vehicle and take frustrations out on the dealer.


#7

edit good faith


#8

Since my comment appeared about the same time, I see the mileage ? has been answered.

My comments still stand. You bought a used 8 year old vehicle with well over 100k on it. Any vehicle like this will need something and the fact you’re having to spend money fixing it is not your friend’s fault.


#9

Thanks all! I appreciate your input!


#10

a lemon?

you seem to have bought a mini van at around retail price. (maybe a little high $$ though) i guess it would depend on just how luxury’d up the van is for the total price, but you didnt say what trim (xl, xlt, el, etc etc etc) the van has.

the repairs are unfortunate, but you did buy a used vehicle, and you bought it from a private party (so you cant just go to the dealer and gripe about it)

the reason we buy cars from private people is that its generally cheaper to get the vehicle, but you do run the risk of not knowing what the future (in your case transmission) will bring.

i guess if you are sure your friend didn’t sell you the van KNOWING it was about to explode the transmission, then they are still a friend.


#11

These repairs are typical for the 2000 Ford Windstar. I owned one which I sold to my son. After a year, he had to do the intake gasket and a vacuum hose which I assume is the same as yours. He owned a 1999 Windstar that had twice the mileage as the one he bought from me. He knew he would expect to have some problems, as one would with any used car.

I wouldn’t end the friendship. These problems with the Windstars come on suddenly and can’t be predicted. One thing that is critical with Windstars of this vintage is that you change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. Apparently the transmission is a weak spot on these vehicles.

At a certain mileage or age on a vehicle, parts are going to fail. You just make the repairs and go on. You may go a couple more years now without a problem.


#12

If $1,200 is wiping you out then you should have bought a $2,700 van and had money in hand to fix it for a year or two. If I can keep my repair costs under $1,000 a year on used cars I buy for under $3,500, I call them good buys! I had three daughters and we lived 30 minutes from school and town.


#13

First rule on friends/family and used car is never buy/sell it.

However the issues you have are perfectly normal for a $4000 vehicle that is 7-8 years old. On any vehicle whether golden Honda/Toyota or domestic down to VW after 7 years or 150,000 miles(whichever first) the likelihood of problems goes up significantly in my own experience and families vehicles.

Just expect to put money into it on occasion and this vehicle will likely function fine for you. $4000+$1200 still is not a bad price for transportation.