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Old 01-10-2013, 10:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,336 times
Reputation: 10

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Recently i have purchased a '98 Chevy Lumina from a used car dealership, and although it's not the greatest of cars out there it's what i needed to get by.

When i made the purchase, the dealership had taken the car to get the safety and emissions done on it and they had both been returned as passed. This was in the end of september so it was 3 1/2 to maybe 4 months ago. Last friday when i was turning onto the freeway onramp, my CV axle completely separated and the ball joint on my front right wheel popped off and caused my car to skid to a nice halt down the road. In the few months leading up to it my wheels (originally in good condition) were worn down to the bare minimum as well and all of this is now totaling to a mechanic bill of $650 bucks.

I have been told by mechanic friends and people who know cars that this is an issue that would have clearly been seen by the safety tech that ran the initial safety inspection and i should have the original shop pay for the damages that were caused, not me. I have called the shop and they told me as long as they didn't hear grinding when the wheel was turned, there is no way they would have seen that issue with the car. So my question is, is this true? Or is this something that i should contact the safety complaints department in the Highway Patrol for?

Any info on the matter is greatly appreciated
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:28 PM
 
2,341 posts, read 11,193,697 times
Reputation: 2040
"Used Car Dealerships" are known for going out of their way to screw people over. Unfortunately, that's what happened to you. They sold you a car with a bad CV Joint. It likely has all manner of other front suspension problems as well. Period.

If you can do the work yourself, you can get a heckuva lot of new parts under there for under $500. If you have to have everything professionally done, it'll probably cost you more than the car is worth.

Sorry to be the harbinger of bad news, but you really have no recourse here. These dealers do this for a living, and they're good at it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,715 posts, read 11,150,101 times
Reputation: 1421
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex108 View Post
Recently i have purchased a '98 Chevy Lumina from a used car dealership, and although it's not the greatest of cars out there it's what i needed to get by.

When i made the purchase, the dealership had taken the car to get the safety and emissions done on it and they had both been returned as passed. This was in the end of september so it was 3 1/2 to maybe 4 months ago. Last friday when i was turning onto the freeway onramp, my CV axle completely separated and the ball joint on my front right wheel popped off and caused my car to skid to a nice halt down the road. In the few months leading up to it my wheels (originally in good condition) were worn down to the bare minimum as well and all of this is now totaling to a mechanic bill of $650 bucks.

I have been told by mechanic friends and people who know cars that this is an issue that would have clearly been seen by the safety tech that ran the initial safety inspection and i should have the original shop pay for the damages that were caused, not me. I have called the shop and they told me as long as they didn't hear grinding when the wheel was turned, there is no way they would have seen that issue with the car. So my question is, is this true? Or is this something that i should contact the safety complaints department in the Highway Patrol for?

Any info on the matter is greatly appreciated
It's a lose situation. You most likely had torn CV Boots when you bought the car (which made the CVs go bad), but there is no way that you can prove it.

I sympathize with you, but please just move on. This world is full of crooks.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:31 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
39,372 posts, read 70,636,382 times
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Most often the boot gets cracked, dirt gets into the CV and causes it to wear out fast, but in one that old, even with a nice sealed boot it may have just worn out. That is not something that is obvious during a safety inspection. As for the tires, they are considered safe as long as the minimum legal tread is still there when measured, and you would have a hard time proving what the tread depth was when you bought it. Again, because it's so old, loose but still "safe" front end/suspension could cause faster than normal tire wear. I think you are stuck paying for any work it needs. It's still worth more than double that, so if you think the engine and transmission will hold up and you like it, it's probably worth the $650 bill.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,721 posts, read 17,185,082 times
Reputation: 11175
Alex, they may have missed the cracked boot on the CV but a moron must have inspected it because a ball joint loose enough to come apart in a matter months-not hardly. I'd take the bill up with the dealership or dealer and if you don't get anywhere, call a TV station and give the TV folks the opportunity to give them some publicity.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:49 PM
 
17,449 posts, read 23,579,261 times
Reputation: 19241
4 months AFTER the purchase? Sorry, brother, it's on you.
Btw, your ball joint stud broke, what resulted in hub turning out at radical angle, what separated your CV joint. Not the other way around. Basically, hub ripped the joint apart. Either way, sorry to hear.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:36 AM
 
3,184 posts, read 6,753,487 times
Reputation: 1818
Hate to say it but the only cars these used car lots sell are ones that are WORN OUT...
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:03 PM
 
4,231 posts, read 7,386,667 times
Reputation: 10144
A few of you have it all wrong. The cv joint was damaged because the balljoint broke which led to the joint being pulled apart. It's hard to say if a safety inspection could have caught this given the amount of time that has gone by.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:39 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 41,194,967 times
Reputation: 14586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fargobound View Post
A few of you have it all wrong. The cv joint was damaged because the balljoint broke which led to the joint being pulled apart. It's hard to say if a safety inspection could have caught this given the amount of time that has gone by.
This. It may not have been something that could have been noticed during an inspection.

To the OP...

You are basically on the hook for this. Any car at that age and mileage will have been clearely sold "As Is" with no warranties implied or otherwise. It could have fallen apart the day you drove it off the lot and you would have no recourse. In some states, dealers are required to provide some level of warranty coverage on a used purchase, but only for very limited timeframes 30-180 days and for very limited mileage. The coverage usually only applies on a sliding scale based on age and mileage and cars over 10 years or 100k are universally excluded.

The general advice is that when buying any car like this, you should have it checked by an independent mechanic. Obviously you have some friends who are mechanics, so asking them to take a look would have been a smart move. I know that doesn't help now, but is good advice in the future.

The cost of the repair seems right and is worth it as long as everything else is in good order. Obviously have them check out the other side of the car as well and replace anything worn there as a preventative.
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