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Mike
Mike, Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  Tech Expert
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I sold a car with 126k miles on the clock to a garage recently.

Resolved Question:

I sold a car with 126k miles on the clock to a garage recently. I was asked whether there were any major mechanical faults to which I said no (a genuinely honest answer). A month later they wrote to me saying the car had had a sealant put in the coolant system and it was overheating. They say this is a temporary repair for a major mechanical and they want more money from me or they will go to court. I knew this stuff had been put in (by a mechanic) but as far as I was concerned it had resolved what was thought to be a minor issue as there was never any sign of coolant leaking anywhere although it had lost some. After the sealant had been put in the same mechanic had checked the levels on a couple of occasions and everything looked fine and the car had been running fine for a few months. They also tell me they can tell how long the solution has been in the system.

So, is this sealant only a "get you home" temporary measure for a major mechanical and is it really possible to tell how long sealant has been in the coolant system? I am no expert and would not know that this major mechanical existed.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Mike replied 3 years ago.

Mike :

Hello and Welcome -

Mike :

My name is XXXXX XXXXX Im happy to help / advise you...

Mike :

Please acknowledge this by sending me a reply so that I know you are in Live chat -

Customer:

Hi Mike

Mike :

Hello - Welcome.. Im just digesting all that you have said - please give me a mo...

Mike :

Ok .. Im with you now -

Customer:

cool

Mike :

Ok - - what are they saying the "major mechanical issue" is?

Customer:

They are suggesting it is a cracked cylinder head

Mike :

Ok - was the car taken in as a px?

Customer:

Yes

Mike :

And that was on what date ?

Customer:

1st November 2013

Mike :

And when did they come back to you with all this?

Customer:

They then wrote to me on the 9th December

Mike :

Ok yes - had they sold your car on?

Customer:

I don't think so. It needed some bodywork doing and I get the impression they noticed this issue when driving back from wherever it had been. They say they had only done about 20 miles.

Mike :

Ok , its irrelevant anyway really - I can tell you for sure - they are just trying it on.. there is no way the can tell how long the sealant has been in the engine for a start...and there is no way they can legally come back on you with this. It was down to them to check the car over thoroughly when they took it in - ( just as you would if you were buying a car ).. It doesn't matter what the mileage is that its done - they would not win this in a court - and they won't , not if they have any sense, even bother taking it to a court - Again, they are just trying it on.

Mike :

Just out of interest - how much extra are they asking for?

Customer:

Their initial letter asked for me to either buy the car back or send £720. They also threatened to go to court to try and get what they estimate to be £2500 for repair of cracked cylinder head.......Most recently he offered to split the difference of any loss if he sent the car to auction.

Customer:

The court bit was if I didn't send them £720

Mike :

He is trying it on... believe me.. there is nothing he can do.. " buyer beware " applies even more so to a trader than a private seller / buyer.

Mike :

I suggest you plain ignore it - keep the letters for ref .. but ignore it - don't bother replying. IF you really want to reply , just refute it saying they took the car as a px and you are not legally liable at all... Im sure the TSO etc has told you the same..

Customer:

Well, that's what I thought but I expected him to back off after the third letter and although the general advice I'd had was along these lines it's good to hear it from someone in the motor trade

Mike :

Indeed yes- is it a large dealer?

Customer:

No, it's a small second hand dealer.....he was giving me some sob story about having had a bad month etc

Customer:

This was last night on the phone

Mike :

Exactly - he is in need of money.. to be honest - he's got some front , you can give him that - but thats all. !

Mike :

As you have spoken to him on the phone, I would suggest then to write him a letter - but a brief one.. a note saying what Ive said above and tel him you see that as end to it.

Customer:

Just out of interest, I believed that the sealant had cured just a potential hole in a hose but he was adamant that that wouldn't be the case and the stuff is only used as a temporary measure. Is he right about that fact or is it another bluff to scare me?

Mike :

Some of these sealants are better than others - can you recall what it was / what make / price?

Customer:

He wants me to call him today to say whether I would go with the auction offer and split that loss...... the answer to which will be no.

Customer:

Let me just check on the price....I have no other details

Mike :

Ok -

Mike :

You are legally not obliged to anything at all -and certainly you dont have to pay him anything or do any "deals".. the "deal" is done / over... Im sure the CAB and TSO have said similar.

Customer:

The sealant was £9.95, which could have been a trade price (not sure) as a lot of work is carried out by a mechanic in our village who also works for Nissan.

Customer:

He did say when he put it in that in the past he hadn't recommended doing it because the sealants were inclined to clog the system but this particular one was very good

Mike :

Ok - well that then is a reasonable one..at that price..( I dont know the make of it but going off price ) These sealants wont tend to seal leaks in rubber hoses - as hoses expand and move with the engine etc.. they are designed to seal leaks in radiators mainly - but again.. regardless, he is not telling your truth - he cannot tell how long its been in .

Customer:

Thanks very much Mike......CAB didn't give me the utmost confidence how this would pan out but I feel much happier having chatted with you. Cheers Andy

Mike :

No problem at all - Im very glad to have helped.. you are welcome to come back to me anytime at all ( on this - or anything future ).. I do just need you to now click on the OK ratings system for me please.. for which I thank you in advance...

Mike :

And stick with it Andy - you are completely within your rights.

Customer:

Thanks again

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