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In thinking I should have had more than 18 months use out of this car?

(25 Posts)
Alfieisnoisy Wed 24-Feb-16 08:48:12

So my car has completely died. It's a semi automatic bought 20 months ago for £2750.

It was a gift from my parents who had a savings plan mature and who wanted to help me buy a reliable car.

I am a Carer for my son who is autistic and the past few years have been very difficult for us personally and financially because I haven't been able to work. So this car was a real boost for me as my previous car (which cost me £250...yes you did read that correctly) was in its last legs.

So I was able to go out and buy a car with a lowest mileage (for me) just over 70k.

I looked forward to a few years of trouble free motoring.

So in the 20 months since I bought this car I have had two major problems. Firstly a big issue with the suspension which a mechanic friend sorted out for me (but which would have cost massive amounts in a garage due to the labour costs) and then less than six months later the transmission has died on me. Quotes are between £1000 -£1500 for a non dealer mechanic specialising in transmission issues and £2000-2500 at a dealer garage.

The car is now not worth that money (and I don't have it anyway).

So it has worked out a very expensive mistake.

I know second hand cars can be luck of the draw to some extent but this car built in 2005 and with just over 80k miles on the clock is only worth scrapping as it will cost so much to repair.

I will be writing to Fords with my experience of this vehicle and to express my disappointment that a vehicle of theirs built just 11 years ago is now no longer driveable and that the repair is so prohibitively expensive.

I've sold some stuff and have £425 saved, the non running car is on eBay in the hope that I can get more than the £50-135 I have been quoted for scrapping it.

Out of that I will have a to buy another car but it won't be anything as new or nice as this car which I thought would give me several years but hasn't,

It SHOULD have lasted longer shouldn't it?

I bought it from a dealer who gave me six months warranty with it. To be fair I don't think they could have been expected to predict the issues this vehicle has had.

I am just so disappointed though. I rely upon my car for my son so that I can access groups etc for him. Using public transport with him isn't easy. Thankfully his special school pick him up and bring him home so at least that it sorted.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 24-Feb-16 09:01:22

Unfortunately, this is the gamble buying second hand to some extent. It may have a service history, it may "only" be 11 years old, it may "only" have 80k on the clock. Doesn't tell you whether the owners drove it well or badly, over revved it regularly. And if so, that's hardly Ford's fault, so I don't really see how you can write to them and claim that their car is rubbish - be different if it was 20 months old from new and had had several problems. At that age, things start to go wrong with most cars, even when they have been well looked after. I've just traded in my 9 year old car with 70k on the clock, oddly enough. Why? Because it was starting to develop faults and it wasn't going to be worth spending lots of money on it due to its age.

Many garages will do 12-month warranties on a second-hand car but rarely on a vehicle of 10 years or more because it is simply more likely than not to start needing new bits or develop problems. As a buyer, it's the sort of thing you are expected to be aware of. The likelihood of you having several years of trouble free motoring really was rather naive - that's not to say it can't happen sometimes, but it is unlikely in the scheme of things.

I know that's not helpful.

girlsmum1510 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:15:06

I too have just traded in my car, an 05 plate only 65000 miles on the clock.
Again things starting to go wrong, the age, previous drivers use etc.
I only got two and half years out of mine but that's what I expected. Unfortunately you have to expect this with older cars.
I hope you can sort something soon xx

Alfieisnoisy Wed 24-Feb-16 09:18:08

Yep I suppose in saying "several years of trouble free motoring" I expected minor issues in a second hand car.

I know you cannot predict how well (or not) someone has driven a vehicle.

I am still so disappointed though as it was a significant outlay for me and I can't afford to do so again. I am looking at cars up to £700 now.
Ironically I had longer trouble free motoring from the £250 car.

I am panicked about getting anothe car now as I just have no confidence in getting something which will be reliable.

And yet people say cars are built so well now that they should be repairable fairly easily (labour costs excluded). It was the fact that Fords quoted £2000-2500 just for the parts! Why on earth should they be so expensive....and make the car virtually non repairable? Do people really have so much money to burn? A vehicle with just over £80k in mileage shouldn't be non repairable...it just shouldn't.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 24-Feb-16 09:27:55

Thing is, OP, you do have to do a bit of homework when buying cars, new or second hand. One of the most important is to look at how expensive parts are. If you compare the price of Ford parts compared to Citroen parts, you'll find that the former are much more expensive. This is why they tend to hold their value slightly better. And it depends what the issue is as to what parts need replacing - transmission is more expensive than, say, clutch - and, due to the age of the car, how easy those parts are now to source.

You say you had a mechanic friend sorted out the suspension? if you have a mechanic friend, why not take him with you when looking at a car, he'd give it the once over and say "the suspension is poor, that'll need doing in a few months". Most of us don't have a mechanic friend - make use of him when BUYING, not just when it goes wrong.

Your car ISN'T non repairable. It is just old and of an age where it would cost more to repair than to buy a similar model, so it isn't sensible. The same as with TVs, washing machines, anything else.

Alfieisnoisy Thu 25-Feb-16 06:29:24

I did do my homework though, I looked at what cars were reliable and I looked at which were cheapest to repair. I went with a Ford because when looking at repair they were high in the list of those cheap to repair.

I took my mechanic friend when buying this car and there was nothing to indicate the problems I now have.

I have just been unlucky and I fully realise that but oh the disappointment of it all.

If it matters my mechanic friend does not think this car reflects well on Ford. He says that a car built in 2005 should not be virtually beyond economic to repair to the extent that this one is with less than 90k on the clock. If someone paid a full price for this car and kept it then they would have a poor return for their outlay. I take the point that I don't know how the previous owner used it. But yes....I have just been unlucky.

Anyway I am off to look at a car today or possibly two as I am going stir crazy stuck here. I need to be back on the road.

Katenka Thu 25-Feb-16 06:38:03

I always though fords were expensive to fix. Fairly reliable but not a cheap thing to fix

lilydaisyrose Thu 25-Feb-16 06:48:03

I think you've just been really unlucky. I bought my 06 Ford Focus in summer 2013 for £2,200 (think I got it cheaper as it had a high mileage, over 80k at the time) and it's been fab. I drive 300 miles a week on average - mileage now over 110,000 and until recently it has not needed much done. I have had the handbrake and rear brakes done in the last fortnight and now need 4 new tyres awhich came up as recent MOT advisories (that are getting done this week), but that's really all. I am sorry for you, but think you've just been unlucky sadly.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 25-Feb-16 07:04:34

I always thought that Fords had poor reputation for reliability, hence the acronym 'fix or repair daily' but were relatively cheap to fix.

Admittedly, major things like gearboxes are never cheap, but if I wanted to reduce the risk of big bills, I would stay away from anything unusual like a semi automatic gearbox, which is always going to be more expensive to repair than a standard manual one.

Yes you have been unlucky, but when deciding how much you can afford to spend on a car, you should always factor in a potential repairs budget. Any time I am running an older car, I would always make sure I put away £50 a month to cover repairs and servicing etc. Over time, even this may not be enough, but is what you need to aim for - cars do break down sooner or later.

If you want to avoid big repair bills, the way to go is either new under warranty, or really cheap old cars that you can scrap if anything big goes wrong, eg £500 to £1000 max, hopefully with something close to a full MOT.

The middle ground of a relatively expensive car that you can't just write off to avoid a big repair bill probably carries the biggest risk IMHO.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 25-Feb-16 07:05:55

I was looking at a cheap old car, I would get a Honda, Toyota or VAG group (Skoda, Seat, VW or Audi). Never Ford, Vauxhall or anything French.

BarbaraofSeville Thu 25-Feb-16 07:07:30

If your DS has special needs, can you get DLA and a mobilty car?

Playthegameout Thu 25-Feb-16 07:12:23

I had a thread about my Ford cmax 56 plate a while ago. We had it just over a year and spent over £3000 in repairs, as much as we had paid for the car. YANBU op, it is gut wrenching, especially when it gets to the point where you have to scrap the car (we got nothing for ours BTW). But it's really just rotten luck. I hope you can find a car soon.

Buckinbronco Thu 25-Feb-16 07:14:46

I completely sympathise and that's why until I could afford nearly new (4/5 years old) I went with 15/16 year old clios, focus' etc for under £500. They really do provide the best value of money is an issue and are no less reliable than any other second hand car.

PrimalLass Thu 25-Feb-16 07:17:41

I'm not sure what is going wrong with Ford at the moment. We had two major, very expensive problems with our 08 CMax (turbo and ecu), which we did manage to trade in even though it was obviously quite broken.

My family has always bought Fords, but I wouldn't rush to get another one.

OP have you had a read around to see if this is a common fault with that car?

AutumnLeavesArePretty Thu 25-Feb-16 07:20:13

It was very expensive in the first place, nine years old and eighty thousand miles on the clock for not much under £3k is a lot. Mine new only cost £4k more.

Second hand old cars always come with a risk, at nine years old I would have expected repairs mist MOTs and for parts to start wearing out inbetween due to age and use.

BillBrysonsBeard Thu 25-Feb-16 07:24:49

Hey Op, that is very disappointing. We got ours for £800 from autotrader and it's brilliant. There are cheap reliable cars out there but are usually private sales.

Buckinbronco Thu 25-Feb-16 07:32:15

Just a thought OP but for a car of that age you should be able to obtain plenty of parts from
Scrap yards- have you tried calling some? Worth a go.

SimpleSimonThePieMan Thu 25-Feb-16 07:32:41

Modern cars are designed with a life of approx 10 years so this doesn't surprise me at all. As mentioned earlier a Japanese car would be your best bet for replacement.

lrb978 Thu 25-Feb-16 07:33:07

I've just had to get rid of my 04 plate semi auto fiesta for exactly the same reason. Admittedly it had just over 100k on the clock and I had had it 7 years, but it was the 2nd gearbox it needed in that time.

The high cost is because the gearbox in them is a sealed unit, one part cannot be replaced, it all has to be.

When looking for a new (to you) car, be aware that the fiesta was an automated manual, as are many of the newer automatics. When you think you have found a new car, check online and find out what type of gearbox it has. IMO if it is a CVT stay well clear. These are automated manuals and reading around have a high level of failure, some manufacturers are worse than others (much to my dismay a Micra was very quickly ruled out because of this). Either stick to a torque gearbox in an auto, or go for a manual. Like I said, this is just my opinion, but based on hours of research when in your position. I hope you get something sorted quickly xxx

lampygirl Thu 25-Feb-16 07:34:04

You need to keep an eye on what your car will be worth second hand, and factor that in against the cost of repairs. I have a BMW that is hideously expensive should the auto box go, but it is still worth more than the cost of the box, so it is cheaper to repair than replace. When it is worth less than a major repair is likely to cost I will trade it in and get another. They hold their value well, so in theory have longer years of lower risk driving. I binned a ford because it constantly needed repairs despite being from 2006 and having less miles that yours. Granted the repairs were cheap, but regular and therefore inconvenient.

Catsize Thu 25-Feb-16 07:45:00

Sorry to hear this OP, but I am not surprised. I bought a Nissam Qasquai last April. 2013 plate. Traded it in last month, losing more than the price of your car, as it was just a bad'un. Was in the dealership 4 times for faults and was having headlight problems they couldn't fathom. Just cut my losses, despite having just bought new tyres etc,

20mths driving for that price isn't too bad if you look at it in terms of a car loan/pcp. It's just over £100 a month. Lots of people pay more than that for their car. I am repaying about £250 a month, albeit for a newer car.

Hope your next car is more successful for you.

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 25-Feb-16 07:45:15

I love cars and have a lovely collection.

However my daily ride is rarely anything other than what ever 20 odd year old banger I can pick up and drive until it's dead. I rarely fix anything on them other than the very cheap easy to do stuff and when they die I scrap them.

I pick them up for around £300 ive never had one last less than 3 years.

I used to stick at the 2/3k mark until I realised that most of those were sold (at least the ones I was buying) because of niggles that had the potential to turn big and the owner didn't want to deal. I don't think one of those ever lasted me longer than a year.

londonrach Thu 25-Feb-16 07:47:20

My 04. Skoda is the best car i ever had. Dh has a 99 plate car which he has had on a sorn for x amount of years (we cant afford to run it and its stored on private land) but still starts every time and recently moted with no problems (thinking of getting it back on the road). Sadly. I think you were just unlucky which doesnt help. I do prefer the older cars as theres less expensive electrics to sort out but mechanically they often need sorting.

SimpleSimonThePieMan Thu 25-Feb-16 10:58:50

IMO if it is a CVT stay well clear. These are automated manuals and reading around have a high level of failure

A CVT isn't an automated manual, but I do rather dislike them. The driving experience isn't a pleasant one.

Fieryfighter Thu 25-Feb-16 11:19:53

I'm a huge fan of the £500 and under with a decent MOT car, I've had plenty and they always last a few years and if it's expensive to fix it's replaceable. In my experience spending between £500 and £3k I've had no more issues with the cheaper cars than the more expensive.

I do feel for you though OP :-(

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