I'm not a dealer, just a car enthusiast. I sold a clean title 2009 WRX out of state 6 months ago. The sale went smooth, I provided photos, I felt like I accurately described the car and didn't hide anything, and the buyer responded after delivery that they were very happy with the car and the condition. They told me it was accurately described. I sold it to a father and a son. They were both very nice. Then this email exchange happened and I need some unbiased opinions. I just want to do the right thing. I will fwd this thread to the buyer after a few responses come in.
Seller (me)Wanted to circle back and let you know that we just found out that the car needs $4,500 is repairs – Clutch and Flywheel, Turbo and Timing Belt and Water Pump.
I’m ok with the Timing Belt and Water Pump as that is normal maintenance, but the other is truly disappointing. Would like to get your thoughts.
BuyerSorry to hear about the troubles. The car had no symptoms of clutch or turbo failure when I sold the car. If they did, I definitely would have mentioned it. The clutch grabbed great in every gear and didn't chatter or anything. It was not the original clutch either so I am surprised it would need replacement this early. The turbo was making target boost just fine, was not making any noises, and the car was not consuming any oil. What are the symptoms now?
If you are not experiencing obvious symptoms, I would consider a second opinion. Also, because turbo upgrades are so common on these cars, a good used turbo can be found for less than $200.
4 days go by:First let me say that the shop is one I’ve used for years and one if not the best in our area for foreign vehicles, so I trust them completely. On the clutch, it began to smell hot and when they got into it determined that the flywheel was below specs. Also they said they've never had this much trouble in separating the transmission, so might attribute that to the salt and winters in MN.
On the turbo, when working on the vehicle they inspected and found it with a lot of play and was too close to the wall and could fail if not addressed. Not comfortable with going used, as failure results in a trashed engine.
Seller (me)…no other comments…
BuyerI'm not sure what you are looking for from me. Your mechanic said the turbo was worn but not yet touching the wall of the compressor housing or causing issues but recommended service because it could cause issues soon. Therefore their analysis confirms that there were no symptoms of anything wrong. I never inspected the turbo or reported that it was worn because there were no symptoms to suggest there was an issue. This is the same story with the clutch. It worked perfectly fine. I am disappointed that you had these issues but I don't feel I have done anything morally or ethically wrong. I do think you could save quite a bit of money on turbo and clutch service but it sounds like you are very comfortable with the shop you are using so that is worth something. A good used turbo, a new Exedy clutch kit, and resurfaced flywheel should be well under $1000 in parts. I would guess labor would be about $1200 but not totally sure because I try to do all of my own work.*
Well, I’m asking you to put yourself in my shoes and then consider how you would feel. I understand that when purchasing a used car, there will be issue, but to the tune of $4,700 on a car that has just over 100,000 it seems excessive. The car has been driven extremely hard based on what they have found when then got into it. Buying a used turbo is non-starter because if it fails results are a new engine.
You do what you want, but if it were me, I’d look to offer something to the new owner. When I sell something, it comes with a sense of integrity and fairness.