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Thread: Bought used car, believe previous owner hid a problem - Minnesota

  1. #1
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    Angry Bought used car, believe previous owner hid a problem - Minnesota

    I recently bought a used car off Craigslist from a private party. Worked for awhile, but soon the power steering lost all it's steering fluid.

    I know most of the time, buying a car from a private party is caveat emptor, but I believe I was willfully swindled. My mechanic looked into the problem and found that the where the fluid line enters the steering rack was cracked, but also, that the crack had been (possibly recently) filled with epoxy to seal it up, and that the power steering fluid had a leak-stopper agent added to it. He speculates that the power steering broke on the previous owner, and rather than repair it he gave it a temporary fix to make it driveable, but definitely not a permanent solution. The seller did not mention this at all, and did not mention it in his ad. I do not have the ad any longer, but I did have a friend come with me to look at the car and he can attest that the seller never mentioned this problem, and that I did ask about any problems with the car, either currently or previously.

    The previous owner was the owner of this car for six years, there's no way he could have purchased the car like this and not known. The owner was a mechanic, so he definitely would have known.
    I'm going to ask him to pay for the repairs, but I'm expecting he's not about to shell out $500-$1000 to me willfully. So, if it comes to it, would I be able to make a case? Is this fraud? I believe that the owner has actively concealed a defect in the car, and that the shoddy fix proves it. Also, I believe he would argue that he repaired the car, but I'm sure any mechanic would attest that glue would not be an adequate repair, at least not to qualify it as proper working condition.
    Last edited by ClownHats; 03-28-2012 at 03:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    I should mention that the car has not been fixed yet. What should I do before going ahead with anything? I have another car so I don't need it repaired right away. Should I leave it as it is for as long as possible, or should I gather as much evidence as I can now, fix it, and then try to recover the cost?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClownHats View Post
    I should mention that the car has not been fixed yet. What should I do before going ahead with anything? I have another car so I don't need it repaired right away. Should I leave it as it is for as long as possible, or should I gather as much evidence as I can now, fix it, and then try to recover the cost?
    I think you've pretty much answered your own question,
    that being, gather evidence and try and recover the cost.
    If Minnesota has any laws covering private transactions I couldn't find one.
    CL use to be a pretty good place to shop, not any more.
    Good Luck.
    ..__________________
    ~ Free advice is like your public defender,
    …you get what you pay for. ~ drr
    Last edited by drruthless; 03-28-2012 at 06:28 PM.

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