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jfryjfry Reader
10/9/16 10:14 a.m.

A few months ago we sold our 08 Tahoe for a pretty good price. It was in immaculate condition with no problems either current or previously (save tpms in 3 or the 4 wheels that I replaced with oem parts).

The younger guy who bought the car was super cool, and I was glad to see him happy with it.

Last week, I needed a copy of the registration for my insurance (to get credit for back-cancelling) and contacted him to ask if he could send it.

He said that he could once he gets the tahoe back from the shop. Ugh. 6 days after he bought it the tranny let go. He said it only had 1st and 4st and would cost $2800 to have a shop put in a rebuilt unit.

I feel horrible, but lucky at the same time. I do have a bit of a conundrum however.... While I know the sale was as-is and I am under no obligation to cover the cost to any extent, I feel that offering some sort of refund ($500?) might be the right thing to do.

However, I am very happy that we didn't take the "last road trip" in the Tahoe before we sold it that we had been talking about doing!

ebonyandivory UltraDork
10/9/16 10:17 a.m.

Ooooh, that's a tough one morally. It might be a tough one legally too.

I guess I'm just bumping your thread. Sorry I don't have more input at the moment.

Trackmouse Dork
10/9/16 10:21 a.m.

It's very nice of you to feel empathy for the guy. A rare trait among mortals. You'll do well in life as a man like this.

I was in a similar scenario once. Sold my autocross crx to a guy my age. He had swapped to bigger balloony tires when he picked it up. A few weeks later I saw him at a gas station. he told me how him and his girlfriend went through two red lights with no brakes. The tires had rubbed the brake lines through. (I didn't secure them down). Felt bad, but on another note, I didn't die. So that was good. I told him I'd help him repair it, he scoffed and drove away.(not in that car)

Woody MegaDork
10/9/16 10:30 a.m.

I sold a Miata track car on eBay. I'm in Connecticut and the winning bidder was from Maryland. He insisted on driving up, slapping a plate on it and driving it home. I encouraged him to rethink his plan but he did it anyway. He called about 20 minutes later to say that he was stuck on the side of the road. I thought he was busting my ass, but soon discovered that he was serious. About fifteen miles from my house, he turned on the heat and blew a heater hose. I made it clear that I would have had no way to anticipate its impending failure, and we agreed that it was kind of a fluke. I grabbed some heater hose, clamps, a gallon of antifreeze and some distilled water. I drove out and fixed it for him.

I felt a little bad, but not really.

markwemple SuperDork
10/9/16 10:35 a.m.

Had the same situation with a 944 I sold. The guy paid me 5500 for a track prepped car that i had dumped 4500 in recently in engine work. The radiator popped the day after he bought it. I felt bad but he had received a good deal.

patgizz UltimaDork
10/9/16 11:12 a.m.

I bought a dump truck. Brake line popped on way out the guy's driveway, alternator died a couple hours later, radiator exploded upon entering our driveway. As is = as is. Im guessing you didnt fill the trans with lucas goo and laugh as it left. Its nice to see someone else feel like me though, i'd feel bad too

smokindav New Reader
10/9/16 11:50 a.m.

It's like this - if the trans had let go as he was pulling out of your driveway - that's one thing. But after a couple days it's on him - who knows what sort of jackassery transpired in those few days?

smokindav New Reader
10/9/16 11:52 a.m.

I sold a minivan to a guy. A week later we met to get the title swapped to him. He said the rear brakes were worn to the backing plates and he had to replace them. (The brakes were fine when he took the van.)

He asked me if I would help and I think wrote home a check for $100. It's a judgement call, sometimes.

DrBoost UltimaDork
10/9/16 12:03 p.m.

I had a guy call me a year after he bought my first Jeep. He blew the engine. Said he was going to sue me. I said I looked forward to seeing him in court.
Then, a few years ago I sold a used R/V. The guy said a caliper over heated. It had been a few months since he bought it, but I did some brake work a few weeks before I sold it. I offered to drive the 4 hours to where the R/V was and do the work if he'd buy the parts. He said ok. Then he called me back and said that if I was really willing to drive 4 hours each way to work on the R/V, I must be honest. If I'm that honest he believed that I had no idea there were hidden issues (......on a 30 year-old R/V!!!) and that I shouldn't worry about it.

To the OP. I might be inclined to give him a few hundred bucks, but that's just because I'm too nice. You don't owe him anything.

Stampie Dork
10/9/16 12:10 p.m.

I sold a Volvo 240 to a young guy as his first car. A few weeks later he text saying the headlights were out and asking what he should look for. I told him to bring it by and pretty quickly replaced the relay with one I had sitting around. Was surprised when he handed me a $20.

ronholm Dork
10/9/16 12:20 p.m.

I sold a Ford Explorer last year.. I had just had the engine out and reworked the timing chains... It was a very nice SUV and sold quickly.. Ran great.. I drove it around for a couple weeks and all was well..

I sold it and the guy calls me a day later telling me the engine started rattling and locked up. So I started mulling over what I could have possibly forgotten.. I eventually ended up meeting up with him to look it over.

A breaker on the crank and sure enough it would turn one way a little bit and not the other at all.. Then I heard a sound from the back of the engine..

Some idiot(namely me) forgot to torque down the Torque Converter bolts. Sure enough the phone had rang about something far more important while working on the damned thing and I hadn't tightened them all the way up. Came back to the job a couple days later and totally forgot.

He said he had a friend who would help him pull the engine and fix it.. I offered up a nice refund..

Knurled MegaDork
10/9/16 12:20 p.m.

I bought a car and within a couple thousand miles, the ball joints failed, the struts failed, it needed brakes and calipers, two separate brake lines blew on different occasions, the electrics module started playing up, and a few other things. Oh and the fenders and rickers rusted off. It was fine before I bought it.

I don't feel too awful, it was a loaner from work. I wanted to buy one of the other loaners, but within a couple thousand miles, it ALSO needed brakes all around, a couple ball joints, an axle, the exhaust fell off, and some other things...

Guess the previous owners were right to dump them on us?

(But hey... repairing all that is part of redefining your new car as YOURS, until then it's someone else's car that you hold title to)

Mad_Ratel Dork
10/9/16 12:34 p.m.

I sold our old thunderbird because I was worried that it was not going to last. Guy that bought it gave it to his wife.

3 years later it is still running and has not cost them a dime. I still feel good about that one as I gave him a good deal and it's paid for itself.

To this day I remember his wife getting really excited when she realized that the a/c worked in the car...

cmcgregor HalfDork
10/9/16 1:21 p.m.

I sold a protege (for $400) and the morning that the guy was coming to pick it up, I moved it into the driveway to hose it off and a brake line popped. The title had already been transferred and it was his car, but I called him, explained, took the day off from work and fixed it. Guess that was why they'd been feeling spongy.

OP, seems like the guy is very aware of what "as-is" means, since he didn't reach out to you looking for help. I'd say a goodwill refund would be greatly appreciated but certainly not expected.

penultimeta Reader
10/9/16 1:28 p.m.

It would be amazingly gracious of you to offer a small compensation for something you thought was working perfectly. However, you are under little obligation to do so since you hadn't thought or even anticipated this type of failure. It sounds like the buyer understands this as well.

mad_machine MegaDork
10/9/16 1:34 p.m.

my old superbeetle with the type 4 2.0 914 engine liked to swap ends. I sold the car to an older gentleman because I knew if a young kid like myself got it, he would probably kill himself in the car.

A couple of weeks later I was driving near the guy's house and decided to just do a drive by. The whole rear of the car was smashed in. I made the mistake of stopping.. seems the older guy gave it to his 17yo nephew as a present :(

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
10/9/16 1:38 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry:

Seems that you contacted him (about insurance refund) not him contacting you placing demands.

I would forgo the insurance refund and initiate no further contact on your side.

Antihero Reader
10/9/16 2:04 p.m.

When I bought the caprice it drive home fine but got tranny problems shortly after. I never contacted the seller because if it happens after money changes hands it's on me

jfryjfry Reader
10/9/16 2:15 p.m.

So it seems that this isn't a terribly rare occurrence - These other stories are very interesting!

it actually reminded me of when I bought my aprilia Rsvr. I had looked and test ridden it and a few days later come by to pick it up.

I gave him the money, we chatted about different things on the bike and wheeled it out on his driveway. He fired it up (oh the glorious sound of an Italian twin!) and I started getting my gear on. As i was throwing my leg over it, I saw smoke coming from under the tank.

I instantly realized that it was MY bike, and I now owned a beautiful, large paperweight. We tore it down in his driveway and cut out & bypassed the stator plug, a known issue on these bikes.

I thought the PO was pulling one on me but it really was a big coincidence.

Still have the bike 8 years later.

vwcorvette SuperDork
10/9/16 2:53 p.m.

I sold a Geo Metro for $900 that burnt a valve 3 months after. They contacted me and wanted some sort of retribution. Ah, no. You bought it as is, no warranty implied or inferred and drove it home two hours after purchase with no issue. No longer my problem.

Woody MegaDork
10/9/16 3:16 p.m.

Back in the 70's, my dad sold a car to his neighbor. The guy gave him half of the money and they agreed that he would pay the rest the next on his next payday two weeks later. My dad let him take the car.

That first night, the guy's grandson wrapped the car around a tree. Then he decided that he shouldn't have to pay my father the other half of the money.

He finally paid up after my threatened to take him to court. That was pretty much the end of their friendship.

car39 HalfDork
10/9/16 3:32 p.m.
Woody wrote: Back in the 70's, my dad sold a car to his neighbor. The guy gave him half of the money and they agreed that he would pay the rest the next on his next payday two weeks later. My dad let him take the car. That first night, the guy's grandson wrapped the car around a tree. Then he decided that he shouldn't have to pay my father the other half of the money. He finally paid up after my threatened to take him to court. That was pretty much the end of their friendship.

This has been my experience in retail. If you offer anything, you're admitting guilt and / or responsibility, according to the hearing officer in the small claims case I lost. Then again, if you're a business and you go to small claims in the state located between New York and Rhode Island, south of Massachusetts, you're already guilty.

Mitchell UberDork
10/9/16 3:33 p.m.

It's probably safe to say that an oldish used vehicle (8+ yrs?) is put on the market when the cost to maintain becomes disproportionate to the value of the vehicle.

HappyAndy PowerDork
10/9/16 4:49 p.m.

In reply to jfryjfry:

I absolutely would not offer any refunds. Yeah, the trans barfed, but did he neglect to tell you about the giant smokey burnout that he did to impress his buddies, or the tug-o-war against the Forklift at work, or is the trans shop even giving him an honest evaluation?

As is where is purchase. Buyer assumes all risk. Sometimes you gamble and win, some times you loose. Facts of life that all people should get accustomed to at a young age. If can't afford the risks, go spend a lot more for a new, or certified used car or truck.

failboat UberDork
10/9/16 6:02 p.m.

Miata, motor had a bad bottom end knock, I wanted rid of it. An acquaintance who was a mechanic just blew the clutch in his car and was suddenly very interested.

We took it for a ride, radiator blew on the test drive. He still really wanted it and I helped him replace the radiator.

He calls me 2 weeks later asking me to help him buy a motor, like I owed him that. Yeah, no, I could not have been more upfront about what you were getting, I don't owe you anything.

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