Car inspection

Just bought a used car from a dealership in June and now im having problems. Problems that cost me over 1,000 to fix. What was the $1,000 for? They sold me a car with a excessively worn water pump and a old timing belt. Turns out the timing belt is suppose to be changes every 60,000 miles. Now, even though i bought the car with 66,000 miles and have now only added 2,000 miles in a 2 month period of buying the car, the dealer says i should have changed it. The way i see it, if i bought the car with 66,000 miles they should have changed it. Just like your suppose to have good oil in your car when u first buy it from a dealer. Your not expected to buy the car and change the oil right away. Now im finding out from the main dealer of my car that the car inspection gets a grade"c". What caused it to get a grade C? Motor mounts are broken and my lower control arms are deteriorating. Do u think a grade C car is worth buying? And why is it that lawyers seem like their afraid of the lemon law? I have been turned down by 3 different lawyer companies already.

Lemon laws typically do not apply to used cars. If sold ‘As-Is’, buyer beware. BTW, what make, model, year car are we talking about? Did an independent mechanic inspect this car for you? Did you run a Carfax or other such report? Or did you just think the dealer did all the maintenance the previous owner didn’t want to pay for?

I am not aware of any Lemon Laws that apply to used cars. There may be a statute of this sort somewhere, but I have never heard of this type of law pertaining to anything but new cars. Perhaps that is why “3 different lawyer companies” have not accepted your case.

As to buying a car that is not up to date with its maintenance, and that has mechanical problems, you are the the one who deserves most of the blame, as I see it. If you spend any time on this site, you will see that we ALWAYS recommend that a used car be given a thorough pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic of the customer’s choice. This will cost a few bucks, but is far cheaper than what you have already spent on repairs.

It is good that you had this car inspected, but that inspection should have been performed before the purchase, not afterward. Consumer publications and books that deal with car buying also recommend this practice.

Personally, I would never even consider a used car for purchase without having access to its maintenance records. If you had insisted on this, you could have avoided buying a car that had not had its timing belt replaced on schedule.

In the absence of maintenance records, it is necessary to assume that none of the scheduled maintenance has been done. I wouldn’t even assume that a car had “good oil” in it unless I could verify this through maintenance records. Your assumptions are just not realistic in the realm of used car buying.

I hate to shock you, but there have been many people over the years who have bought flawed used cars simply because they did not have a pre-purchase inspection performed and/or because they bought a car that did not come with maintenance records. And, the list of problems that you have given for this car (excessively worn water pump, bad lower control arms, broken motor mounts) make me wonder about the real number of miles that this car has been driven. Those problems should not have occurred in only 66k, and I tend to think that the odometer may have been rolled back. A thorough pre-purchase inspection would have found at least the motor mount problems and the lower control arm problems.

Experience truly is the best teacher, and I hope that this experience has taught you that you cannot trust a dealer or an individual to sell you a problem-free, properly-maintained used car. As the time-worn expresssion states, Caveat Emptor!

You have an idealistic notion of how used car dealers operate. They accept a used car, clean it, and immediately put a sign in its window “No Money Down!” They do NOT inspect it nor do they make any major repairs. The new buyer IS expected to find the car’s faults before he buys. If he buys the car, it is sold as-is and all repairs, including an immediate oil change, are the buyer’s responsibility.

That’s how the used car market works. It has always worked this way. There are exceptions, meaning some dealerships offer a 30-day warranty, but you purchased your car as-is. Lemon laws do not apply. Lawyers turn you down because you really have no case against the dealer.

Sorry, but you made too many incorrect assumptions when you went to the used car lot. Know for next time.

Lemon law typically only applies to new car sales. Some states like MA have limited lemon laws that cover all used car although for maximum period of 30 days whether private or dealer sales.

On your timing belt. A good dealer would have just changed out knowing it was due. It is not easy to determine condition in many cars.

In all honestly you forgot the CARDINAL rule of buying any used car purchase. Pay a mechanic for a prepurchase inspection. The motor mounts and lower control arms would have been picked up as a flag. Possibly the timing belt also.

[b] I have been turned down by 3 different lawyer companies already.  [/b] 

And you will be turned down by any more you approach. Maybe there should be a law that would protect buyers from things like this, but the fact is there is not, so there is nothing that will change it now. If you like you could try campaigning to get the law changed, but I seriously doubt if it will.

Bad Timing (by consumer, not engine)

The time to inspect is before the purchase, not after the purchase.

I have purchased many cars, both new and used.

This is one example of why used cars are less expensive than new ones, although for me I have always come out ahead buying “used.”

Slightly used cars (program, lease turn-ins, etc.) are often a good way to go. Having factory warranty left after your purchase is good insurance. I have purchased less than year-old cars, with 6,000 to 12,000 miles, covered by factory warranty, for 1/3 to 1/2 less expensive as new, believe it or not. The only really big caveat here, for me, is to be sure the car wasn’t crashed or flooded. Not even a warranty will save you!

I don’t usually buy used cars from a car lot, however I had a good relationship with a salesman/owner of a GM dealership lot and knew that if I got “burned,” he would “make it right.” I purchased 2 cars there and on the last one which was close to needing a timing belt/water pump, by miles (68,000), I got them to “throw it in,” after agreeing on a price which was close to trade-in. Also, I got a strut link, and other goodies, everything installed by dealer GM techs using OEM parts, too. My own personal inspection and homework made it happen.

The time to inspect and haggle is before a purchase, not after!

Incidently, I always buy traditional American cars from the big Three. I love them!
America, what a country!

If you wanted timing belt and water pump changed, the time to make that demand is before you buy the car. However, you must get it in writing in the sales contract if you choose to do this. You didn’t. The dealer also has the right to refuse, and then you have to decide if you want to continue with the transaction.

The majority of cars are sold as-is, and it is incumbent upon the prospective purchaser to get any inspection and negotiate accordingly. I would get the repairs done and chalk this up as a learning experience.

Well I hate to tell you this…but no dealer I know of is going to replace those items unless they are broken.

Just like your suppose to have good oil in your car when u first buy it from a dealer.

It may be NICE that a dealer puts new oil in the car…and changes all the coolant…and replaces any and all parts that are bad or marginal. But the reality of it is…“IT AIN’T GOING TO HAPPEN”.

You should have investigated the car BEFORE you bought it. What maintenance kind of maintenance is required for this car. Does it have a timing belt…if so…has it been changed.

I agree that it would be nice for a dealer to have taken care of this BEFORE you bought it…but they are trying to make the MAXIMUM profit possible. A timing belt and water pump change will drastically cut into their profit.

Thanks for helping me out. This may seem as a shock to any of u but I had no idea that car inspections could have been done before u bought a car and i had no idea that dealers turn back the odometer to make a car seem like a good deal. Yes, i WAS one of those people that thought that a dealer should fix major repair jobs other than body work. I knew that buying a used car, i would have some problems with it but i thought it would be small problems, nothing major like this. This is my first car and i have learned my lesson the hard way. I did read on that some used cars can apply for the lemon law depending on your state and if u signed some kind of new car warranty. My next move is to take the car back to the dealer where i bought the car from and see if the will give me a good deal on repairs. Ill keep u guys updated on how this turns out for me.

My car is a 2000 Dodge Neon. Yeah i thought the dealer would have fixed major problems with the car and leave the little one there. Turned out i was wrong. Like i said before i had no idea that a car inspection could be done before i bought the car. The reason why it got inspected in the first place was when i took the car to the main dodge dealership to get it fixed. Lets just say i cranked the car up one morning and it sounding like chains was rattling. I turned off the car, looked under the car and there was a major oil leak. I had towed to the dodge dealership they looked at it and did the inspection. As someone else said on this thread yeah it would have been nice for dealer to change those things knowing that it give me a hassle after my 30 day warranty, but the price to fix it would not have equaled the value of the car. Whats the value? i payed $5,000 for it. You know now that im thinking about it, VDCdriver said that they may have turned back the odometer and i think he might be right because its a 2000 car. I thought the previous driver was like me, someone that doesnt drive that much. Like i said i only added about 2,000 miles to the car and i had it for 3 months. But not that im looking at it, over 8 years it still should have had more than 66,000 miles on it even if its someone that doesnt drive that much.

Free Stuff! It Did Happen - Maintenance parts and labor!

As it says in my previous post, I did get it paid for. I am always looking for something to sweeten a deal. Except for the car mentioned above, I have made my best deals and then have gotten the sellers to pay our state sales tax (6%). I generally shop during the last 1/2 of the last month of the year. When I bought an 11 month-old Dodge program car (6,000+ miles total), I worked it down to about 50% of new. I said I’d take it, but that I forgot to mention that I don’t pay sales tax.
The salesman said that everybody pays sales tax. I explained that what I meant is that the dealer pays it for me. When I was informed that that was not possible, I left mentioning to them that they had my phone number. Right after Christmas the phone rang. “We’ll pay the tax,” said the voice on the phone. It was win-win. I wanted to buy it. They wanted to sell it.

America, what a country!

One possibility I see not mentioned above is that if you have a 30 day used car warranty that came with the car as part of the sale, depending on conditions of the warranty, you could get the repairs done. Usually these warranties are limited 30 days/1K miles, and involved cost-sharing. The details should be either in the bill of sale or the warranty that was provided.

If you can prove the odometer roll back, then you have grounds to void the whole transaction and possibly gain help in doing so from the state attorney general’s office.

The broken motor mounts may fall into this category; timing belt and water pump are maintenance items generally exempted from the warranty.

I think ordering a CarFax report might be a good idea at this point. They’re only useful if something shows up (if nothing does, it’s meaningless), but maybe this is one of those times. If the car is listed with a higher reading on the odometer than it was on your bill of sale, that should make your case for you.

You could check with your state’s department of motor vehicles too. They might be able to search by VIN and tell you if anything looks fishy.

If you don’t find anything, I think you may have to chalk it up to a learning experience. Let us know how you make out.