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Date Registered: 09-2013
TOTAL POSTS: 5
Re: Recall Catalytic Converter & O2 Sensor Breakage
I apologise in advance for the novel, but I think apart from the technical issues, there might be legal issues that we'll need to take into consideration.
After checking out a few X-Trails for sale, we found two that we were quite keen on - both 2003, both auto, one a ST-R the other a Ti-L and both for the same price. We eventually settled on the Ti-L, reasoning that for the same amount, the extras that came with the Ti-L made this car a better-value buy, plus it had new starter motor, new tyres and new oil & air filters.
I checked out the VIN's and neither came up on Nissan's recalls. I hadn't seen this page on the forum, and now see that our VIN is within the recall range for the Cat Converter/O2 sensor boss breakage recall.
Speaking with the previous owner last Sunday (15 September), she assured me that the car was in perfect mechanical condition, never had any issues, and even 'guaranteed' this condition by saying she would have no problems paying if there were any 'non-wear and tear' issues. I was too excited for the alarm bells to go off.
We arranged for a pre-purchase inspection to be carried out by NRMA on Tuesday (17 September). The report gave the car an 8/10 mechanical condition, with the only 'serious' issues noted being the possibility of the electric window regulator showing signs of aging (the rear passenger window was closing slower than the others), the air-con wasn't getting 'cold,' and the park brake was holding, but not as tight as it should be.
Relying on the lady's guarantee and NRMA's excellent report, we thought we've picked up a really fair deal. I didn't even try to negotiate the price down!
We picked up the car from the NRMA service centre and drove back to Wollongong on Tuesday evening. Halfway home, I notice the engine light has lit up (I'm quite sure it wasn't on before this). No alarm bells yet - the car is really driving beautifully, the engine is running quietly and nothing seems amiss.
On Wednesday morning I called up (local) Nissan Dealer and asked whether we could get the car looked at. No problems - they weren't too busy, my wife could bring the car in after lunch. Diagnostics indicated faulty cam and crank sensors. Not a problem - I'd read up about them on this forum, and figured everything should be ok. When my wife tries to start the car to drive home from the dealer ... it stalls. Mechanics told her to 'rev until it takes and it should be fine.' Thanks, but no thanks - there's obviously an issue, and the engine light's come back on.
On Thursday I'm back at the Nissan Dealer. I asked about the O2 sensor, noting that it may not have been picked up by their diagnostics, but service manager assures me that wouldn't be the problem. This time they replace the wiring for the sensors that they put in. Engine light is off, starts no problems and I drive home. An hour later I go to pick up my wife from work and the car stalls again on starting and the light is back on. Call up the service manager, he tells me to bring the car back down next week and that it is fine to drive.
I'm not overly impressed with the service at the Dealer, so I'm thinking of taking it to a reputable local mechanic next week. Hopefully the issue is (as small as) the cat converter/O2 sensor, and I might just get the mechanic to check out the butterfly screws as well.
I'm not sure how much else we could have done prior to buying the car. The seller is obviously denying any pre-existing issues (that new starter motor probably had nothing to do with the car stalling on starting...) and NRMA say that unless the engine light was on at the time of inspection, they have done nothing wrong.
I absolutely understand the issues that come with buying second hand cars (now even more ), and have no problems paying for major maintenance items when they are due, but have we paid $299 to the NRMA for them to tell us that the car has a few scratches on it? Even with the seller's verbal guarantee, I doubt there's much we can do to get the money for the repairs/rescind the purchase.
For those that have had stalling issues with your 03 Exy and had the O2 sensor and Cat Converter repaired/replaced - did you experience other issues with your car as well? Should we set aside the cost of the car to keep it running for the next few years?
Any advice regarding the above would be very appreciated (any private legal advice even more!)
21/Sep/2013, 10:43 am
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