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A3 1.8 TS Quattro - newbie's tale of woe!

russ3ll Aug 13, 2009

  1. russ3ll

    russ3ll New Member

    Hi Guys

    As the title suggests I'm a new owner (or returning owner as I had an A3 1.8TS Quattro about 6 years ago) I've been a member on other forums for my other cars so I'm hoping things are as helpful here!

    I picked up a 1.8 t sport Quattro for £2600 on a 51 plate (2002) via a private sale. The car looked in good condition, no obvious signs of engine troubles (120k on the clock), new(ish) p-zero's all round....guy said he'd lost his job so had to sell. 12 months MOT, one advisory regarding a light misting of oil on the O/S/F shock (which knocked a fair bit). Ad said car was in A1 condition and the guy seemed genuine.......test drive was fine (turbo had a little lag nothing untoward). He confirmed no electrical issues or head gasket problems.

    5 miles from the house and after putting petrol in (it had about 60 miles fuel left during the test drive) I noticed the temp gauge had gone off the scale (it was sitting in a normal position during the test drive and the MOT emission test said temp gauge showed warm engine).....5 miles later overheating warning light...pulled over popped the bonnet and a bit of steam (in the p*ssing rain). Phoned the guy and he admitted the temp gauge was broken and never moves unless you put a full tank of petrol in(despite assuring me there were no electrical issues) he then admitted the water pump was probably faulty.....got it into my local VAG specialist (500 metres from my house!)....and it turned out the following is wrong:

    Instrument cluster temp + fuel gauge is faulty

    o/s/f shock absorber is leaking heavily

    Front pads and disc are low recheck in 3-4k

    Rear anti roll bar collars are spilt

    Exhaust hanger bracket missing from centre box

    o/s/f wish bone rear bush is torn

    Front anti roll bar collars is split

    Cam cover gasket leaking

    All wipers are in poor condition

    Indicator bulbs at rear are starting to go white

    Poor water circulation is causing over heating (cause might be water pump not changed with cambelt service)

    I've called the MOT place as the car has done 200 miles since the MOT and it shouldn't have passed! My firm is retained to prosecute on behalf of VOSA so I've called the garage and had a 'nice chat'.....they want to check things out to see what they think was 'missed' on the MOT and come to some arrangement....I'm fixing the water pump and doing a new cambelt at the same time....just wondered how much the other stuff might cost? If the ARB collars have split do I need new ARBs?


  2. reptor245

    reptor245 Active Member

    nightmare bro. Altho i cant help thinking when reading that no matter what the advert says or VOSA or receipts. it is you that is responsible for checking it over and you that decides to buy it. i wouldn't really go on what a AUDI Dealer tell you and they told me i needed to change the window frames when the windows kept going down on there own. cost me well over £400 and turns out i only need plastic clips that are like £4 from ebay.

    Dealers are Twats in my book. lol

    hope it works out for ya tho
  3. emery1990

    emery1990 Active Member

    i was gunna say i got my 52 plate for double that, but then it hasnt had any issues....thats well bad, can you claim any money or get it paid for, as it was a private sell?

    If money allows , when buying new discs, upgrade to to s3 brakes, im doing it atm, will say how much difference they make when there fitted on.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  4. IIIadidasboy

    IIIadidasboy Member

    First off, welcome to the site - pity your first visit isn't under better circumstances.

    I feel for ya mate, but really MOTs are only as good as the minute you drive out the testing garage - alot can happen in 200miles! - and as already said, it is down to the buyer to check the car out.

    Bit naughty though, if the guy said there weren't any electrical faults and then 20mins later is admitting to a problem with the temp gauge when the fuel tank is full - strangely, I've heard that problem before, but can't recall the root cause of the top of my head.

    Sounds like the cam belt has been changed? - I'd be more worried about the water pump now, if your still driving it that is, to be honest the other issues you mention aren't the end of the world - roll bar collars and the exhaust hanger broken are pretty common on these cars (speak from experience here! ).

    Hope you get the outcome you're after.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  5. b16 will

    b16 will Member

    The garage will do what ever they can to keep it out of VOSA, so push to get the car mot safe with them !!
  6. russ3ll

    russ3ll New Member

    Hi guys thanks for the responses, for my sins I'm a lawyer so am familiar with the basis of the onus being on the buyer....some dodgy latin phrase Caveat Emptor.

    I've not driven it since last Friday, it's sat at VAGTech waiting for them to sort the water pump out - as the cambelt needs to come off I thought I might as well change it again...only an extra £70 or so. I wouldn't take it to main dealer.....to be honest not many places I would trust.

    I know a lot of the little bits aren't major but it just sets you wondering what else is hidden!

    how much is a new shock?


  7. daveeeeee

    daveeeeee New Member

    please bare with me on this post it is relevant and hopefully helpful if your a lawyer then you will probably know more than me as i have only finished my first year studying law at university, maybe you can educate me. but, this sounds to me like misrepresentation, there is a famous case very similar to this, Long v Lloyd [1958] regardless of wether it was a private sale or not, a contract was made. the definition of misrepresentation is a false statement of fact made by one party to another, which, whilst not being a term of the contract, induces the other party to enter the contract. this make the contract voidable giving the innocent party the right to rescind the contract and claim? get your money back or make him pay for your repairs, you can always claim ignorance, your no mechanic, to the reasonable man a good test drive and an mot certificate is good reason to believe that the car is in good condition. the seller has shot himself in the foot buy admiting the he knew about the faults on the car.
  8. russ3ll

    russ3ll New Member


    You're quite right....and there's three types of misrep - 1. fraudulent, 2. negligent, and a third....which I forget the name of but think it's honest. The first two have similar consequences and remedies......however..as you'll find when you qualify...the real world and case law don't always conincide. Sometimes you have to face facts that you were on the end of a bum deal!
  9. russ3ll

    russ3ll New Member

    Waterpump replacement has fixed the overheating....now just need to sort out the suspension and dash.........at least I go for a hoon now!

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