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Old 10-21-2013, 12:25 AM   #1
BellaSignora
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Question about buying a car from a used car dealer.

Hey guys!

Wonder if anyone can help me out with some questions I'm having. I bought a 2002 325i last week from a used car dealership in northyork... Angora Auto Sales. Got a decent price for a car and they even included a basic powertrain warranty.
They did the safety and emissions test and transferrred all my plates and things and had the car ready for me a few days after I was approved for financing.
I went and picked up the car and everything seemed great but upon picking it up the normal guy i bought it from was off due to the holidays and would be in the next day. As I drove the car off the lot I noticed the alignment was off and the SES was lit up.
F&%$ Me.. I thought. I immediately pulled back in and told the shop assistant the problem and told him to let the dealer know i would be back in the next day.
This shop is registered with the OMVIC and when calling the dealer told me to bring it in and he would get the allignment fixed and look at the codes.
When I brought it in he put the code reader on and it came up saying:
Low fuel
running lean
and a few other things i think like bank 1 or something...
He cleared the codes and told me it could be from having no gas in it when I picked it up ( it was on empty) He said he would come with me to the mechanic that he uses and would get them to look after the alignment. He left in another car that he had at the mechanic getting work done as I waited for the allignment.
The allignment was done ok. But its not perfect and still pulls a tiny bit to the left. And I noticed that when i got in the car to go home the SES light comes back on.
Now i know its not low fuel because I have half a tank. I called the dealer and told him the light was back on and I want to come back in and find out what codes its displaying. He agrees and tells me that I need to pick up and sign the warranty papers as well.

Sorry about the long story... but i guess what I'm trying to find out is he responsible for selling me a car with no SES light on? When i saw the car originally there was no light on, but I didn't get to take it for a test drive as it was not certified or emission tested.
Or am I shit out of luck with this and shouldn't expect him to pay or fix what ever is wrong with the car.

If anyone knows for sure what the policy is could you please let me know... I think I will call the OMVIC tomorrow to ask but in the meantime anyhelp would be appreciated.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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First off congrats on the new car.

By SES I'm assume you mean Sevice Engine Soon light, aka, Check Engine light.
If the light was on, the car shouldn't have passed emission testing, so either the light came on after they did the test, which is possible or they are trying to cover it up. Lean mixture codes could be a bad o2 sensor, but if there are misfire codes also, those should be checked first as they can cause a lean mixture. It could be anything from needing a tune up, bad coils, injectors, vacuum leaks, etc. It will need some diagnosing to find the cause.

Alignment is not covered under safety certification (assuming all suspension components have no play), the dealer has no obligation to fix this for you, but it looks like they are taking care of it.

This is why I strongly recommend anyone buying a used car to always get it inspected by your mechanic or someone you trust. They will give you the details that the dealer won't mention, anything the isn't safety related or emission test related (basically alot!), they always try to sweep it under the rug. If you had taken the car to a mechanic they would have pointed out these faults (and maybe more) and you would have decided if you wanted to walk away or make the dealer fix these as part of the contract (always make sure it's in writing, best is to put it in the sales contract).

Also, not test driving the car, that's a another big no no. Used car dealers prey on these type of buyers and usually take advantage of them. Goodluck and I hope you get it all sorted out.

PS: Take your car to one of our sponsors and get it checked out, it could save you in the long run and give you some peace of mind.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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If they try to **** with you look on the e-test certificate to see who did it. no way a car should pass emissions running lean, which means its probably a fake test, which gives you lots of ammunition.


next time PPI the car or at least have someone with you who will check it out / drive it.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:59 PM   #4
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The above points are all valid and fair. That said it sounds like the dealer is willing to work with you so give them the benefit of the doubt. In my experience a little patience always leads to more cooperation from all parties involved. Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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Never buy a car from anyone in the GTA without a PPI - done with either the factory dealership or a reputed shop, like RMP for example.

A lot of these used car dealers in North York, operate on a family business model - i.e one brother runs the dealership, the other brother runs the shop where they run the etests, safetys, repairs etc --- in other words, they can easily dupe people into buying cars with fake safetys, or issues that they do not disclose to the buyer, despite being fully aware of it themselves.

In your case, if the dealer is playing nice - go along with the hassle of going back and forth to him to get the car fixed since you've already bought the car off him - however if he gives you attitude at any point - I suggest taking the vehicle to RMP or another decent shop - have them run a full PPI - including re-inspecting the vehicle to ensure it complies with safety standards, if it doesent - get it in writing and then you have ammunition on the dealer - since he probably did a fake safety.

As propr'one mentioned - the etest is probably fake as well - no car should pass with the engine running on lean or the chk engine light on.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:48 PM   #6
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I am in the business, my two cents...

It is not as easy to fake an e-test as it once used to be.
They have no obligation to fix the SES light, it passed e-test at the time, right? Used car, anything can go wrong in seconds. In any case, sounds like a MAF sensor to me.

They have no obligation to do the alignments (providing isn't completely out of whack due to repair of front end components)

They are obligated to repair any suspension components, brakes, lighting, that may have been "missed" by the mechanic shop in order for the car to be certifiable. There is 36 days for you to go back *providing* you can prove that the issue was present originally and the car was given to you that way after "passing" safety inspection. Good luck proving anything unless its the next day or two after picking up the car (for ex. a windshield can develop a crack as you drive off the lot and a stone hits it, a nice, large pothole can give play in a tie rod, etc).

From this point forward you will be dealing with the warrant company ( a complete joke by any standards). I tell my customer to pocket the money and save it for a rainy day.
If it is a warranty they included for free, I'd be curious to see what ends up happening if they fix the issues. Those are generally cheap to throw in for a reason.

Anything offer to do for you is truly to make you happy, you can play nice, or not, that may determine the outcome.

Also, on the bill of sale, is there a dealer guarantee? How many days/km's? What components?

We are all registered with OMVIC, there are things they can help with and things they can't. It is completely case by case depending on conditions on the bill of sale.

Any other questions, feel free.

PS. If you provide me the VIN I can try and run it and see if I have any disclaimers on the car from before.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #7
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i agree with terry that it is now difficult to fake an etest, but it really shouldn't pass without emissions specific codes (lean, etc)
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #8
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Thanks guys.. I really appreciate the advice. I called the OMVIC and they advised me to visit a mechanic to find out what codes are showing and get it in writing so that I can take it to the dealer I bought it from and see what he says. I will also ask to get a copy of the emissions test. I didn't think it would be easy to pass emissions with codes on especially running lean so it'll be interesting to see what really happened. I am going to let him know I called OMVIC and their advice was to bring the diagnostic report to him and if he refuses to do anything especially if this is a pre-existing condition before sale or if the emissions doesn't seem legit then to get them involved.
I am giving him the benefit of the doubt as i know he had the alignment looked after even though he really didn't have to.

I appreciate everyones comments and advice and will keep you all posted.

Regardless of the SES light being on I'm so happy to be back in a BMW.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaSignora View Post
Thanks guys.. I really appreciate the advice. I called the OMVIC and they advised me to visit a mechanic to find out what codes are showing and get it in writing so that I can take it to the dealer I bought it from and see what he says. I will also ask to get a copy of the emissions test. I didn't think it would be easy to pass emissions with codes on especially running lean so it'll be interesting to see what really happened. I am going to let him know I called OMVIC and their advice was to bring the diagnostic report to him and if he refuses to do anything especially if this is a pre-existing condition before sale or if the emissions doesn't seem legit then to get them involved.
I am giving him the benefit of the doubt as i know he had the alignment looked after even though he really didn't have to.

I appreciate everyones comments and advice and will keep you all posted.

Regardless of the SES light being on I'm so happy to be back in a BMW.

Keep us updated. I don't think you can prove pre-existing issues, *unless* you saw the SES on during the test drive, the codes match the codes you are getting now, they promised to repair the issue (not verbally, in writing) and they failed to do so and now you are experiencing same issues.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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I agree with the above - always take it to a reputable shop for a pre-purchase inspection.

Sounds like MAF or throttle body crack - Take it somewhere to get checked out sooner than later.
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:44 PM   #11
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It could also be many other things, like a dirty MAF, ICV, or DISA.
Here's a link to common E46 issues.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Good luck with the dealer. I agree that you should tell him you're going to do the inspection before spending the money. He may concede and save you the trouble.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #12
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I will also ask to get a copy of the emissions test. I didn't think it would be easy to pass emissions with codes on especially running lean so it'll be interesting to see what really happened.
You can pull the e-test yourself at the link below with your vin.
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment...OD_101629.html

Don't be surprised if the car was already e-tested before you bought it, they test good for 1 year and 1 year ago, the system was easy to beat.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:28 AM   #13
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Hope he takes care of you Bella... last time I bought from a dealer I got the warranty, 2 days later the clutch failed... took it back to the dealer for a warranty repair and was told "the clutch is not considered part of the driveline under the warranty" what the heck?!! How can the clutch not be part of the driveline? [it was listed as a covered item] found out he had neglected to tick the box beside clutch when he was ticking all the other ones and I missed it because I left my magnifying glass in my other suit [ahh the good old days when fine print was truly FINE PRINT]...
Unless you are buying from the mfg. themselves and getting a factory warranty save your money they really are'nt worth it imo.
With this guy take your baby to a mechanic you trust and get him to take a look and give you a second opinion and code pull in writing... then go se what this guy's guy comes up with and wait in the shop while he does it so you can verify it is in fact YOUR car he is "working" on and get him to put his diagnosis in writing and compare the two.
You might have some dampness getting into the electricals/sensors which may lead to getting different "false" codes every time. My co worker had an E36 that had sensor issues every time it rained.

On the no gas when you picked it up issue I'm sorry but when you buy from a dealer it should come with at least a quarter tank of gas if it's used and new better be full. That should be a given I mean you buy a washing machine or dishwasher they always come with enough soap for at least a few loads a vehicle should be the same thing. You can't tell me the dealer's margins are so tight he can't afford $20 worth of gas.

Last edited by aviator; 10-22-2013 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:54 AM   #14
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I agree with the above - always take it to a reputable shop for a pre-purchase inspection.

Sounds like MAF or throttle body crack - Take it somewhere to get checked out sooner than later.
Just how does a throttle body crack???? I'm sorry, but I have never ever seen anything like this in 17 years of working on these cars. Its a solid chunk of metal, only problem is in 1999-2000 323 328 528's that had internal electronic issues.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:12 AM   #15
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Could he be referring to the pt where the air intake attaches to the throttle body? the hose fitting could crack... or maybe the gaskets cracking? If you over torqued the stud bolts you could maybe get a flange crack... or if you dropped it if it was off at some point... but you are right under normal conditions I don't see how the throttle body as a unit could crack either...
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