Non-stop car trouble: Buyer pays $30k for used car, spends $10k in repairs within a month, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Non-stop car trouble: Buyer pays $30k for used car, spends $10k in repairs within a month

He might have thought he got a bargain when he purchased a used, seven-year-old car for just $30,000.

But he soon found himself forking out another $10,000 in repairs within the first month. 

The buyer, a 48-year-old tutor named Zhou, told Shin Min Daily News that he had bought the Citroen model from a car dealership in Jalan Sultan. And problems surfaced almost immediately.

Zhou said the first sign of trouble came within the first week, when a fault signal on the dashboard began flashing. After an inspection, he paid $300 to clean the filter of the diesel car.

"Two or three days later, water seeped into the front of the car, and I found there was a problem with the rubber seal," said Zhuo. A week later, the air-conditioning unit ran into issues and had to be fixed. 

The problems kept coming. 

Said Zhuo: "Later, during an inspection I was told there were problems with the car's pipes, brakes and other parts, and I had to spend $4,000 for a complete overhaul."

Zhuo said the car dealer had told him that the car’s mileage was around 100,000km. But when he sent the car to a repair shop for checks, he was told the mileage clocked as of Aug 1 was 225,702km, then later showed 108,361km. 

He added that the mechanic also told him the clutch had been replaced before, and that usually occurs after a car's mileage crosses the 160,000km mark. 

Given all that, Zhuo suspected the odometer of the car might have been tampered with.

Zhuo told Shin Min how a road trip to Malacca in early October had to be scrapped midway due to car issues.

They had just crossed the Second Link when a warning signal flashed. He stopped the car and found that the water in the aircon cooling system had dried up. Fearing other problems might crop up along the way, he decided to cancel the trip and head home.

Zhuo said he contacted the car dealership to request that they foot a share of the repair costs, but to no avail. He is considering other avenues to claim compensation.

When contacted by Shin Min, a spokesman for the car dealership denied tampering with the car's odometer.

"We have been in business for more than 10 years and have more than 100 cars in our fleet. We wouldn't do such a thing to earn just a bit more," said the employee, surnamed Su.

He said the odometer recorded mileage of just over 100,000km when the dealership bought the car from its original owner.

When asked if the company should be responsible for the costs incurred, Su explained that Zhuo had sent the car to an unauthorised workshop for repairs and as a result, no warranty could be given.

Su said he is willing to offer Zhuo a one-time free servicing at a designated auto repair centre, provided there's no additional damage to the car. Otherwise, Zhuo would have to pay 50 per cent of the servicing fee.