Second hand car woe, trader wants car back – can he do that…?

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  • Second hand car woe, trader wants car back – can he do that…?
  • pondo
    Member

    Bought a second hand car last Wednesday (from 100 miles away – long story..), wouldn’t start Friday morning (whilst on holiday – oh what fun…), auto electrician has diagnosed the battery’s on its way out and the alternator has diode ripple (is that a thing? He said the failed diode is draining the battery when the engine’s turned off?), so it’ll only start from a jump off another car. Phoned the trader yesterday and said I’d get some prices (he said OK), best I got is £360 including VAT, called trader this morning and he says he’ll pay £150 towards it, otherwise he’ll take the car back. I just want him to fix it, as even though it’s old, it’s super comfy and (non-starter aside) feels really solid – can he demand it back (he says he can) or can I make him fix it? He’s currently looking to see how quick he can get it fixed near him, but that means a 200 mile round trip – who pays for the fuel and my time?

    tjagain
    Member

    He cannot demand the car back – its yours. However he does have the right ( IIRC) to do a repair on it rather than paying you to have it repaired and the costs of getting it to him would be yours I think
    Check here
    https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/the-second-hand-car-i-bought-has-a-problem-what-are-my-rights

    ads678
    Member

    Take the £150*, get it fixed, and get on with your life.

    *or try to get a bit more out of him first.

    ^ What ads678 said!

    And never go on holiday in a new (old) car! 🙂

    nickjb
    Member

    As above, push him a bit, maybe £200. Get it fixed, you’ll have a car you like with a new battery and alternator for an extra £160. Not ideal but better than a day out for a long drive (or maybe two if it takes him more than a day to fix). Or buy the parts and fix it yourself. Usually easy to change the battery and alternator (although mine is a pain) and you might come out ahead 🙂

    pondo
    Member

    Hmm, interesting stuff, thanks – it’s just such a pain, we’ve wasted hours to get the bloody thing in the first place, lost loads more on holiday (lesson learned there…) and I resent losing more time to it. If he can repair it, fair enough, but it’s the thought of a 200 mile round trip and the wasted however-many-hours it takes – maybe taking the 150 is the way forward…

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    And never go on holiday in a new (old) car!

    Years ago, I drove my Saab 9-3 to the Alps after I’d owned it for a week. Bloody awesome it was. 😀

    But yeah, either the ads678 advice, or give up on the car as a bad lot and give it back.

    OK, having been through this in length last year….
    If it’s less than 30days? Old and was sold with a pre-existing fault you have the right to return the vehicle for a full refund or have it repaired free of charge by the traider.

    How and where that repair happens is negotiated between you the trader iirc. However all costs associated are with the trader, he could say he’ll repair it, but he’d have to have it towed at his cost to his garage….. Or he could have a local garage to you repair it…. Etc.

    Can’t remember if he can demand the car back but my thoughts are it’s down to you the consumer if you want a refund or repair.

    Oh and if he can’t get it fixed ie he fixes it but the fault keeps happening, you can still go back for a full refund (could be why he’d rather have it back now).

    5lab
    Member

    of course he can ask for it back instead of repairing it – a repair could (but isn’t in this case) be much more than the value of the car, the dealer must repair or refund, and it seems like he’s chosen to go down the latter route.

    those repair costs seem high. have a look on eurocarparts for the cost of a new alternator – replacing it should be a ~20 minute job in most cars

    mashr
    Member

    As nickjb says, could be 2 days of your time. Given that it sounds like he won’t be doing the work, you’ll be taking it to him to take elsewhere to get done and hopefully back to you in the same day. His mechanic will be checking it out before they get the parts in I’d bet. I’d assume you’ll be dropping the car off and collecting the next day.

    Having had similar issues years ago, I’ve vouched never to buy a car that’s not somewhere within easy reach

    pondo
    Member

    Or he could have a local garage to you repair it

    That’d be my preference….

    Get it fixed, you’ll have a car you like with a new battery and alternator for an extra £160. Not ideal but better than a day out for a long drive (or maybe two if it takes him more than a day to fix).

    True! 🙂

    Or buy the parts and fix it yourself. Usually easy to change the battery and alternator (although mine is a pain) and you might come out ahead 🙂

    Hmm, interesting… I’m sure battery is simple enough, but I’ll have to look up how hard it is to change the alternator on a Volvo V50 – I am, however, mechanically fairly inept. Could I change the battery, buy an alternator and get a garage to replace it? Or is that too cheeky?

    those repair costs seem high. have a look on eurocarparts for the cost of a new alternator – replacing it should be a ~20 minute job in most cars

    Will do, ta. 🙂

    Having had similar issues years ago, I’ve vouched never to buy a car that’s not somewhere within easy reach

    Again, another lesson learned….

    pondo
    Member

    have a look on eurocarparts for the cost of a new alternator

    £250!! 🙁

    You don’t need to take the car back to the dealer, you do need to prove it has a fault. If the car dealership agrees to repair the vehicle, these must be carried out within a reasonable time and importantly without significant inconvenience to you.

    You do need to give him reasonable opertunity of repairing / inspecting the vehicle. Again at his own cost. So I’d initially give him a couple of quotes you’ve arranged through your preferred garages or the opertunity to arrange his own.

    Also, don’t do any of this over the phone, do it all in writing by email….. If you do it by phone, back it up with an email confirmation of the conversation (wish I’d done this with my case).

    He will know the law isn’t on his side, and also have been through similar issues with previous sales. He’s going to offer a trade price repair cost initially because if it does go to court his insurance law firm will argue that this was a ‘reasonable offer’ which you refused. However if you can’t get the car repair for the 150 and you’ve quotes to prove it I wouldn’t budge.

    “the alternator has diode ripple (is that a thing? He said the failed diode is draining the battery when the engine’s turned off?)”

    It is indeed a thing; the diode pack in the alternator is there to prevent current going the wrong way- from battery back to alternator.

    I can’t believe your man didn’t know this, unless he/she turned the transaction around extremely quickly.

    of course he can ask for it back instead of repairing it

    He can’t, he doesn’t own it…..
    He can ask to inspect it and then advise the owner of the best course of action, which has to be agreed by both parties, that’s all he can do at this stage. If the repair cost turns out is more than the value of the car (which its not) then he can insist on refunding for the vehicle, but only then.

    I suspect if you make this long journey the dealer will fit an old 2nd hand alternator to fix it.

    I’d take the 150.

    pondo
    Member

    You do need to give him reasonable opertunity of repairing / inspecting the vehicle. Again at his own cost. So I’d initially give him a couple of quotes you’ve arranged through your preferred garages or the opertunity to arrange his own.

    I’ve given him the quotes, he’s currently (allegedly) seeing how much he can get his local mechanics to do it for.

    He’s going to offer a trade price repair cost initially because if it does go to court his insurance law firm will argue that this was a ‘reasonable offer’ which you refused. However if you can’t get the car repair for the 150 and you’ve quotes to prove it I wouldn’t budge.

    Can I get it repaired myself, decline his £150 and pursue him for the full cost of the repair, then?

    I can’t believe your man didn’t know this, unless he/she turned the transaction around extremely quickly.

    He said he did, to be fair – I suspect he knew about it, though, it was ok for the first couple of days then battery performance has dived off a cliff. Which would be a heck of a coincidence, if it chose this weekend – could be, but I suspect he knew.

    I suspect if you make this long journey the dealer will fit an old 2nd hand alternator to fix it.

    I’d take the 150.

    Agreed, and we probably will.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Why do you need a new alternator if it’s the rectifier at fault?

    the dealer must repair or refund, and it seems like he’s chosen to go down the latter route.

    I’m not sure about used cars, but with new goods that’s the buyer’s choice to make, not the seller.

    the diode pack in the alternator is there to prevent current going the wrong way- from battery back to alternator.

    No it’s not. It converts AC to DC.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Can I get it repaired myself, decline his £150 and pursue him for the full cost of the repair, then?

    I doubt it. Otherwise what’s to stop you from presenting him a repair bill of five grand?

    pondo
    Member

    Why do you need a new alternator if it’s the rectifier at fault?

    What I know about car electronics could be summarised in a shorter sentence than this. Is that easy to do?

    Can I get it repaired myself, decline his £150 and pursue him for the full cost of the repair, then?

    Yes, but……
    I’d only do this if all communication breaks down. You must give him reasonable opertunity to repair first. You’ve got communication open, which is a big thumbs up so keep going on this first. Only pay for repairs your self if he flatly refuses to do anything as you’ll have less chance of getting the funds back.

    He said he did, to be fair – I suspect he knew about it, though, it was ok for the first couple of days then battery performance has dived off a cliff.

    If he knew about the fault and didn’t tell you about it, then you have him over a barrel. Prob an obvious thing but Is it on any paper work, advisorys on the mot etc?

    Mister P
    Member

    have a look on eurocarparts for the cost of a new alternator

    £250!! 🙁

    Is it really £250? Or is that the list price before you apply a discount code? No-one pays the displayed price on Euro Car Parts. SPRING55 is their current 35% discount code.

    kayla1
    Member

    I once knew a chap who took public transport to pick an old RD350 up that he was going to ride home… It didn’t end well 😆 True story. No help at all for the OP, I know.

    5lab
    Member

    He can’t, he doesn’t own it…..
    He can ask to inspect it and then advise the owner of the best course of action, which has to be agreed by both parties, that’s all he can do at this stage. If the repair cost turns out is more than the value of the car (which its not) then he can insist on refunding for the vehicle, but only then.

    interesting, but sadly complete nonsense. The consumer right act (2015) only gives you the right to request your money back for the first 30 days, and beyond that its at the retailers discretion as to what they do (repair or replace). The dealer has met this requirement, if you take him to court all you’d end up doing is having his costs deducted from your refund as he can reasonably prove he offered a full refund up front

    pondo
    Member

    Yes, but……
    I’d only do this if all communication breaks down. You must give him reasonable opertunity to repair first. You’ve got communication open, which is a big thumbs up so keep going on this first. Only pay for repairs your self if he flatly refuses to do anything as you’ll have less chance of getting the funds back.

    Sound, fair enough – I’m minded to just accept the 150 and take the hit, I don’t have the time to try and get them to fork out more, and I need the car for work next week (WFH this week).

    If he knew about the fault and didn’t tell you about it, then you have him over a barrel. Prob an obvious thing but Is it on any paper work, advisorys on the mot etc?

    Sadly, no – to be fair to them, they put an MOT on it the day we bought it, it needed two new bushes on the front and that was all done FOC.

    No-one pays the displayed price on Euro Car Parts.

    Ha! Duly noted for future reference. 🙂

    It’s a ballache, but that’ll be two pretty vital bits sorted at almost half price, she had a cam belt last year and has decent tyres so she should be good to run for a while. Cheers for all your help, folks, much appreciated. 🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    What I know about car electronics could be summarised in a shorter sentence than this. Is that easy to do?

    With the caveat that the last time I did this sort of work was on a 1985-vintage Ford Escort so my knowledge could well be hopelessly out of date and irrelevant on a modern engine:

    The rectifier is a block of passive components on the end of a cable which plugs into the alternator. If it’s a “diode fault” then it’s that cable/block which needs replacing, not the alternator itself.

    @ 5lab – this is within the first 30days….. It was bought last Wednesday. The dealer hasn’t done anything to repair replace or refund yet. The consumer has all the cards at this stage.

    pondo
    Member

    The rectifier is a block of passive components on the end of a cable which plugs into the alternator. If it’s a “diode fault” then it’s that cable/block which needs replacing, not the alternator itself.

    Interesting, thank you! Will see if I can find out how easy that is… 🙂

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    I had exactly this fault on a 95 primera, i used to disconnect the battery when parking to avoid it draining overnight.
    On that car, the diodes were inside the alternator, so it meant replacing the whole unit.

    pondo
    Member

    The auto electrician dude thought the same thing might work for us, but the next morning, it DID start for, like, 2 seconds then died, I’m fairly sure there was a brief “immobiliser” message on the dash – we haven’t tried it since.

    DM52
    Member

    My car had sat nav issues (amongst other things) when I purchased it from a used car dealer roughly 180 miles away from home. I did the whole get a local to look at it and provide estimates dance before they asked for it back to fix themselves.

    They ended up collecting the car leaving me with the crappiest most asthmatic courtesy car possible in the height of summer with no air conditioning. It was however wheels to get me where I needed to go and eventually they fixed and replaced bits to sort the list of defects out.

    After returning the car I had an oil leak that required sorting, I just invoiced them that time as the service manager admitted using cheap copper washers on the sump plug rather than proper crush washers and I was not the only person with that issue.

    Personally I would steer them towards collecting the car if it is a genuine warranty issue.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    On that car, the diodes were inside the alternator, so it meant replacing the whole unit.

    I did wonder. That’s a bit pants.

    Interesting, thank you! Will see if I can find out how easy that is… 🙂

    TBH I wouldn’t bother. I’d kick it back to the dealer and tell them to give it back to you when it’s fixed.

    100inch
    Member

    I’ll have to look up how hard it is to change the alternator on a Volvo V50

    2.0d? I did mine recently. On the side of a road after it expired. Took me about an hour, and I’m fairly handy with the spanners. 99% of it is accessed from the top, you just need to get an aviation spanner in from underneath to release the belt tensioner.

    The ‘new’ alternator I fitted was 2nd hand from eBay for £40. Denso DAN930.

    pondo
    Member

    2.4 petrol atmo – if it’s not a terrible job then maybe…?

    I’d do a Google and find out how tricky it is to change – my V70 2.4 wasn’t particularly easy. The cooling fan and housing has to be removed so the alternator can be dropped down the front of the engine, shuffled across and up and out.
    As per the Volvo thread – it’s probably overdue a change anyway due to its one way bearing pulley requiring change every couple of aux belts.

    Maybe ask him to post you a new or factory recon exchange unit?
    He will be able to recover the VAT , and stick it through as a business expense for tax reasons.
    He should also be able to get one at a slightly better price than you can as he is in the trade .
    You will have to post your old one back , as they tend to be exchange units.
    Then swap it out at your leisure .
    Firstly get that battery charged and ensure it will start and drive with a full battery and the ECU hasnt thrown a wobbly
    Risk is he posts you a second hand one off ebay , but if its in a box then you should be OK

    timba
    Member

    Neighbour had a V50 diesel (2007 I think??, maybe 2009) and the battery went flat during a journey in the dark, Volvo Assistance diagnosed an alternator fault. Non-OEM replacement fitted, battery charged and off they went
    Went flat again, back home by now so to the main dealer where they had bought the car and who serviced it. They blamed the replacement alternator messing with the ECU. Another (OEM) alternator and a session plugged into a computer in Sweden via a link to sort it all out

    Take the money full refund and run !!

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