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Owning an Audi was a dream that has turned into a nightmare

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by MatLamont, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I have allways longed for an Audi A3 and last year i had my chance to get one. As i could only get what i could afford, i opted to buy an A3 second hand.

    A 53 plate 2.0 Fsi Sport in yellow was just begging me to take her from the showroom, it was a buzz as i have never owned such an expensive car and i fell in love with it straight away.

    That was in july last year and ever since i have had problems with it, engine knocking, loosing water, gunk on the oil cap umoungst other things... It has been back to the garage 6 times for repairs of different things but yet she still aint right.

    It doesnt help the fact that i have been lied to and cheated by the dealer which prompted me to spend £200 for the AA to look at it. The report was damming. I tried to reject the car but the finance company said no because the dealer offered to fix the faults even though it had been in for repairs on previous occasions. I showed the report to the dealers and they dissmissed it. heres a summary of the report...

    Essential Repairs:
    Coolant level/condition - Condition poor.
    Antifreeze - Weak mixture.
    Suspension arms/mountings - Replace, front, both sides.
    Engine mountings - Replace nearside.
    Wheel Rims - Damage/Buckled
    Suspension noise - Investigate knocking.
    Gearbox operation/noise - Abnormal gearbox noise
    Engine performance - Engine lacks performance.
    Engine noise - Investigate a number of specific engine noises.
    Excess smoke - Investigate excess white smoke at running temperature.
    Uneven tyre wear - Investigate uneven tyre wear on the front.

    Transmission noises, could be heard in both drive and reverse gears, during normal take off, this noise, appears to be from the differential, although a grinding noise was also audible, which would suggest a more serious complaint, possibly within gearbox its self. This will need to be investigated further.

    The engines performance, was sluggish, the vehicle lacked power and was noisy. White smoke, from the exhaust was visible, especially during acceleration.

    There are potentially a number of serious defects present on this vehicle now, which would appear to have been inherent at the point of purchase and which will continue to develop over time. The end result will be a number of very large repair bills. This should be addressed with the vendor.

    I took the the car back in once again for repairs and the manager said he would do his upmost to get it sorted. They had it for two weeks, i had no courtesy car. They ended up putting a second hand engine in and funny enough the dealer sent the car to another garage for the work and it happened to be a garage near me. I went down for a visit without the dealer knowing. They told me down there the engine was full of water so, they replaced it with one that had done 20000 miles :yes:

    When the car was ready to pick up from the dealer the manager had no idea that i visited the garage that done the work and he said, " after looking at the engine and listening to it, i decided to have the engine replaced. Also, we found what was causing the water loss, it was a leak on a pipe" :yes::lmfao:

    Obviously he had no clue that i already knew the head gasket was gone, and the head was shagged!!

    Anyway i asked for some paperwork for the new engine, he didnt have any??? I asked him for the engine number, he didnt have it. :lmfao:

    I took the car home and noticed the air con was no longer working (someone forgot to re-gas it) the car kept missing and when it did, the ESP light would flash? None of the other problems had been looked at, the AA report has never been looked at and last but not least..... IT WAS STILL KNOCKING! :keule:

    I have had a good listen to that horid noise and im sure like the AA report says its the gearbox thats knocking.

    I bought this car for enjoyment but i have had no pleasure driving it whatsoever, it has caused me allot of stress and anger. I have had to arrange lifts and borrow cars for work. I feel i have been totally ripped off and fobbed off. I feel isolated and i dont know where to turn :confused:

    Does anyone else feel i should get my money back??
    #1
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  3. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Sounds like a lemon to me.

    Have you tried talking to your local Trading Standards and/or Consumer Advice Centre?
    #2
  4. RicardoAudi
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    RicardoAudi Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Where did you buy it from. What's the mileage, history, how much did you pay. Sounds like a dog to me (Might look like a Lemon!!) but I need more info to comment fully. If you paid 5k and it's done 120,000 miles 'sold as seen'... no chance but if bought from a dealer you may have a claim, As you have paid the AA surely they will advise you too!"

    Cheers:blackrs4:
    #3
  5. AudiLad
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    AudiLad Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    thats a disgrace,and i dont balme you for feeling that way mate, is it possible for you to get your money back? i have a 53 plate A3 2.0TDI sport and it couldnt run any smoother,its just been in to audi because of a light on the dash but they sorted it under warranty,ive had the car 8 months or so and apart from that its been fantastic so dont let this put you off audi's. Listening to what you have said tho about all the faults i would try and find out some history about it. Uneven tyre wear? has it been in an accident?buckled wheels would also suggest this. But you do have a long list of problems and i would think theres something dodgey gone on IMO
    #4
  6. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I phoned trading standards and TBH the person i spoke to didnt have time for me, i also tried citizens advice and the old lady that dealt with me there couldnt even operate her computer lol. As silly as it sounds, its true.

    I bought it from carcraft (the uk's leading used cars hypermarket!!) for £11500. 68000 miles on the clock, 1 owner full service history (aparently)
    The AA inspector told me to reject it. i tried that and failed...
    #5
  7. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I have found out the car has been re-sprayed. To the untrained eye its unnoticable but, a friend of mine noticed that the panels are different shades of colour. i did a vehicle check on the car and it showed nothing.
    #6
  8. golf
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    golf ***** rent boy VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Sorry, but this made me laugh far more than it should have.
    #7
  9. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I had a p reg 2.0 16v mondeo before this car. The mondeo was much quicker....
    #8
  10. AudiLad
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    AudiLad Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    whats had a respray and what hasnt? this way you can work out whats type of collision its been in if it has been like. Is there no other strange things about it under the bonnet etc,small gaps that shouldnt be small,does everything sit the way they should?
    #9
  11. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Its been sprayed right the way up the passenger side and the front and rear bumper has had paint. The petrol cap is a different shade to its surroundings as is the left wing. i havent noticed anything unusual under the bonnet but there is water getting in the boot?
    #10
  12. mike60eley
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    mike60eley Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    If possible try and get in touch with first owner and see what they can tell you about it.I would demand your money back,what a disgrace,The only problem is its over 9 months.
    :sadlike::lmfao:
    #11
  13. Twizzler
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    Twizzler Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Obviously, you should get your money back but you're not going to due to the time lag. The best option is to trade it in ASAP at a dealer. Carcraft have featured on TV in the past and not for good reasons.
    #12
  14. Jo Sharp
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    Jo Sharp Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I would pay for a solicitor to give advice...small claims court perhaps?
    #13
  15. unkle
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    unkle Beer God

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Erm bite the bullet and trade it in for something else, sounds like youve bought a **** A3, shame its tarnished the whole idea of owning a nice car like an Audi. Yeah you might loose a bit of money but notch that up to experience. Also take along someone thats in the trade or has worked in a bodyshop. I nearly bought a car years ago and took my uncle with me, before we got out the car to check it out he could tell it had been in a smash, was lucky as I was young and had money burning a hole in my pocket, ended up walking away....

    Would love it if you took it to another Carcraft and got a decent trade in price.

    Kevin Keegan: "I wud luv it!"
    #14
  16. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    OK, this may not be as bad as you think. Fromt he AA report, its the motor problem that was the main issue, that seems to have been sorted to some degree with a second hand unit. You need the engine number and proof it is not stolen and update DVLA of the new number though, asap. The aircon issue, hopefully if gassed up it should work, but running aircom with no gas is nto good so see if they can do it asap.
    Your mifiring issue.....could be many things but a good independant service agent should be able to vagcom it for a few quid and give you an idea. You need to be sure that the engine type that they fitted was the same as your original, to make sure all valves and wiring plugs you has befroe are stuill there and have a home to go to!
    One idea with the symptom you say could be the throttle body being faulty, easy to damage when swapping over and can play havoc if they go wonky. dopnt always show on vagcom.!!

    The suspension and engine mounts are easy fixes to be fair and not too pricey, if they do it great, but if not it would not break the bank.
    Gearbox noises etc are more worrying but could easily be the flywheel and clutch. Not cheap, but quite a commmon fault.

    DId you test drive the car before you bought it? if not, then you may have some get out, if so, then maybe they will say you should have noticed such obvious faults like gbox noise? If you did not, they will say it happened once it left them and is just bad luck! If you have a warranty, I a afraid you will discover how useless aftermarket warraties are!!
    Hang in there. Thsi is a warnig to all buyers to do their research and if never be suckered in by shiney car syndrome!! If in doubt walk away!
    One more thing is to check with the audi dealership network on the car's reg to see if these problems were flagged by the previus owner. Also consider traking down said owner, make sure if you do you are 100% ploite and assure him you dont hold him in ANY way respnsible, but would appreciate some info on the car. Ask him to confirm mileage and ask if it ever had any problems in its life. Ask him where it was serviced and confirm that to the sevice history with the car. If you find the mileage is wrong or the service history has been embellished (added to) or in some cases just faked, then you have them well and truly over a barrell! If it was a company car, the fleet company will often help out, btucan be obstructive as some of the less reputable ones have been known to knock a few miles off before disposal!! If youc an find the dealer it was serviced at, make a call to them, ask for service reception and ask to book the car in, (dont tell them who you are, just say, Hi, sorry I am driving and about to be cut off, I need to book my car in, its reg # is xxxxxxx" They will often reply, ok, Mr xxxxx is it.!?!? This will be the previous driver! You can then so, oh no, I just bought it off him, etc etc! Driver name is useful, you could then casually ask if they know whihc company he worked for, say you found some sunglasses in the car and want to get them back! SOmetimes they will know and tell you, or offer to call him for you and get him to call you.

    Some of these tricks can be useful if there is anythign untoward, but it will also help to confirm if the history of the car is OK. You may just find you have been unlucky!
    #15
  17. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    its been 8 months but i originaly asked for my money back before the 6 month mark, they refused so i gave them another chance to rectify the problems and again they have failed. how many times am i expected to return the car?

    Another thing i found odd, one of the engine mounts were gone...
    #16
  18. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]

    it had a new clutch when the replacement engine went in, the garage that fitted it also confirmed that the flywheel was fine.

    I did not test drive the car, i was never asked either. As soon as i took interest and asked for some quotes on finance, the car was taken away for valletin and was brought back after the deal wqas done.

    Ok looking back on it i should have took someone with me but i thought they had a good reputation and never thought that this car would have so many problems. I didnt know much about cars but i have learned a hell of allot in the last 8 months!

    Some good info there thanks, i have the adress of the previous owner so i will contact him if i can...
    #17
  19. bacardi
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    bacardi Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Mat - did you get it from an Audi Dealer?
    #18
  20. AudiLad
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    AudiLad Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    carcraft a think mate
    #19
  21. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I'd do one better and send a very explicit email to Jeremy Hicks with confirmation from the third party garage confirming they replaced the engine on behalf of a franchised dealer

    you've got very good grounds to nail them to the floor with this and if you play your cards right are entitled to reject the car and either get your cash back or another suitable car
    #20
  22. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    he already said carcraft..
    I have to admit I have heard some bad things about them also.. I think they are based in South Wales?...
    #21
  23. SteveTDCi
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    SteveTDCi Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    thats where it all went wrong, carcraft are useless.
    #22
  24. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Unless you did that in writing, it's irrelevant unfortunately (IMO).

    I really hope you get this sorted.
    #23
  25. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    why dont you try one of the consumer programs like tonight,the ferret (shown in wales)
    #24
  26. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    that'll teach me to skim read - sounds like it'sa trip to the small claims court with a £50 note

    alternatively if you fancy your chances park the car infront of their gates at 6 am on a Saturday morning with a big sign on the dash outlining your issues, you should be able to get a meeting with the dealer prinicple to resolve the issues very quickly

    emails to Auto Express and Watchdog copied to Car Craft are worth a shout

    good luck!!
    #25
  27. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    unfortunately unless the car is a Cat C or D and was sold undeclared you've no course to seek recompence

    you should have noticed this at the time of your negotiations - maybe something to bear in mind with your next purchase? :sm4:
    #26
  28. The911SC
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    The911SC Active Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    is it HPI clear?; sounds like it has had an accident?..
    #27
  29. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    Who's he? :redface:

    I think they're based all over the country

    I sent a letter to both carcraft and the finance company. It was the finance company that rejected my request for a refund, but they are not aware of the full extent of the problems

    Yes its hpi clear, i did check that but it dont mean anything really. We can all have a prang without telling the insurers

    TBH i was that concerned with the mechanical problems, i said i would let the paint work problems go over my head. i just wanted it mechanically sound. I think im being more than fair and the secretary even said today that this whole ordeal is rediculas! She even told me to push to get my money back! And thats coming from one of there employees!!
    #28
  30. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    The thing is i have already rattled their cage with the letter i sent in january. The problem is the faults are still not fixed AND it's got new problems since it has been in. The car has been in there more times than on my drive.

    il give you an example, the first time it went in was for knaf engine mounts, so their idea of fixing them was to smear them with grease to quieten them down when they clearly needed replacing. Also theres this horrible clunk sound when i break whilst reversing, the AA guy said its more than likely to be the diff. Carcraft wont even acknowledge there is a problem.

    The fact is, the car has been in 7 times already and yet it still has the same problems man i could go on all day about the things they have said and done but i dont want to bore you shitless so il stop here :yes:
    #29
  31. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    you need to get things down in writing ASAP - as you said your previous letter had some effect on them

    are you a member of the AA? they provide legal assistance for certain circumstances

    send the letter recorded delivey giving them 7 days to respond to you in writing and a further 7 days to effect repairs on the car

    failure to respond will start a claim being made against them

    TBH any more than 4 weeks to get things sorted is a piss take
    #30
  32. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Mar 31, 2008]
    I sent them a letter of rejection on the 10th January, i recieved a reply on the 15th saying they would respond either by phone or by letter within 14 days. I was more than 4 weeks before i got a phone call....

    Im gunna phone my solicitor in the morning :yes:

    A quick question, i phoned carcraft today for any paperwork that came with the replaced engine, they said they didnt have any. I also asked for the engine number, they didnt have that either so i phoned the garage where the engine was fitted. They said carcraft has all the information im after :confused:

    I need to find the engine number, does anyone know where i can locate it?
    #31
  33. davemk
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    davemk Member

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    [Apr 1, 2008]

    I think that's the best course of action to be honest. It's all very well getting advice from us armchair-legal-eagles but you need someone qualified.

    Let us know how you get on.
    #32
  34. klauster
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    klauster Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 1, 2008]
    carcraft.... shocking! When you say its been in and out the garage, are we talking an Audi garage?
    #33
  35. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Apr 1, 2008]
    I phoned my solicitor this morning...I have an appointment friday afternoon

    No, i did ask for it to go to Audi back last year, but they refused.
    They themselves do minor jobs like suspention and stuff. For engine and gearbox work they send it to new inn gearbox centre which is near where i live...
    #34
  36. dipstic
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    dipstic Member

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    [Apr 1, 2008]
    Book it into audi and get them to do a complete check and report plus cost to correct any faults ,might cost you a few quid but at least you have something in writing to back you up.
    Or sell it (if you can)
    Good luck anyway
    #35
  37. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    ok guys, i did a check with the service station and everything is ok there...

    i have also got hold of the previous owners phone number. do you think its wise to phone him and ask him a few questions or do you think i should write him a letter?
    #36
  38. sleep envy
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    sleep envy Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    what info are you trying to get from the PO?
    #37
  39. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    Well i would like to know why it was re-sprayed and like smitch said, if it had any previous problems.

    The thing i cant get my head around is how theres so many things wrong with it.:ermm:
    #38
  40. CHARLIE-DONT-SURF
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    CHARLIE-DONT-SURF Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    A few years back i had a smash in my car (was T boned by an old fella coming out of a junction) . Impact stuffed side body panels - and as they 'rippled' they damaged bumpers slightly (front one mostly).
    Mechanically it knocked out the fuel pump , played havoc with ECU/fault codes and front suspension and when i received the car back i sold it on pronto (WAS declared on log book/DVLA though) shortly after selling it the diff blew - drive shaft had been pushed in and buggered the gear box!
    Sound plausible to think same could have happened to yours ? Have you had bumpers off to check for new spot welds on chassis legs/rails ? looked underneath CAREFULLY to look for where jig was clamped on ? Spare wheel well/chassis legs for filler/'ripples' ?
    Take it to a body shop and get them to put it on a jig - will cost an hours labour maybe but might/probably throw up something.
    Buckled wheels and knackered arms/alignment and above all point towards an undeclared smash IMHO.
    As for engine ? Im no expert but IF it is a genuine FSH/mileage MAYBE engine was left running for long enough after smash to cook head gasket - how long is one gonna last for with no radiator/coolant ?
    Good luck :thumbsup:
    #39
  41. MatLamont
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    MatLamont Member

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    [Apr 4, 2008]
    You made some valid points there, i spoke to my solicitor today about it (he didnt have clue about cars BTW) and i told him i have a feeling the car has had a smash. He said i would have to prove it.
    The car has a genuine FSH and the milage is genuine. The last service was at 64978 miles dated 14/3/07 i bought the car in july 07, it just doesnt make sense.

    Im gunna have to investigate further, :angrymod: thanks for the advice!!!
    #40

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