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.