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Avis and I bought a 1998 GMC Sonoma yesterday (signed contract). We drove it for about 40 miles and realized that the heater did not work and we smelled anti-freeze. Purchase price was $5700, the truck has 110,000 miles on it. With exception of the heater not working the truck is in good condition.

We took the truck back to the dealership today and they said it has a plugged up heater core and it will cost $700 to fix. They want us to pay for it. Needless to say, I am not a happy trucker.

Do we have any recourse?
 

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A good dealership will take care of that for you. A bad dealership will tell you that the vehicle was sold "as is" and with no warranty. Problem is, if they are not going to take care of it to keep their name in good standing, you signed the paperwork and are SOL.

There is always a civil suit, but that would cost you more time and money than it is worth and doesn't always work.

I recently bought a used truck and had some issues. The issues were noted before I bought it and they agreed to take care of it. They then tried not to fix it and gave me the run around. After threatening that I would stand on their sidewalk and wear a sandwich board telling the thousands of cars that drive by what they did...The problem got fixed.
 

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I hate to say it Bruce, but if the heater core was already plugged it could lead to many more problems along the way unfortunately, but you may get lucky.

I can't believe they won't fix it. If you talk to Zvic733 he will let you know for sure, he is a master in the car business and I'm sure will provide some great info. I'll talk to him for ya.
 

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I have taken back a '98 Ford Ranger back in 2000 because the drive line began to create slack. After my 3rd fix in about 3 months I had the dealer take it back. But before I had bought it I made them guarantee me in writing that the truck was mechanically sound. The repairs were free, but I got sick of taking it in for service every month.

Lil Corky almost bought a truck from the old Tenney's Toyota in Lake City. We took it for a test drive and found the heater core was not working properly and a few other things. The Toyota dealership would repair the "few" things but not the heater core. They said it would be a $700 repair and couldn't do it for the price we had haggled for the truck. Iggy passed on the truck.


One of the hardest haggling things to do is to get them to agree a guarantee for the mechanics and electrical of the vehicle. I won't buy a used vehicle from a dealership without one. The truck I bought in 2000 I was able to negotiate the terms for the mechanical but not the electrical. It ate some time out of my day, but saved my butt in the end.


Your one out you may have is to do a carfax on the truck and see if it has a problematic history. A history that could be aligned with our lemon law. You may want to check if they're members of the BBB and report to them this matter.

Let me know where you went so I don't make the same mistake wink:
 

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Isn't there a 3 DAY right of refusal or something like that on car deals?
 

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Hey Doc,

The truck you just bought came from the factory with a coolant called "Dex-Cool".

It is a very good coolant but if not maintained properly can cause lots of problems with the cooling system.

I work on a lot of GM cars and trucks and have had this issue come up more than a few times. Normally all you have to do is back flush the heater core with water and air several times and you will get your heat back.

I would be more concerned about the rest of the cooling system myself, as the problem you have is normally related to, or caused by "other " problems already existing.

If you want, PM me a phone # and I will call you and give you a lot more information about the truck you just bought.

They are pretty good trucks if you pay attention to certain things.

Hope this helps.
 

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Our dealers have to supply in writing the amount of time the vechile is warranted. If it is sold as seen then this also has to be put on the agreement. Sure hope you have some sort of cover.

You could always do as Seasport suggested. Let the also know that you are a internet site owner with lots of potential customers for them. Tell them that you could also name and shame them. That might get their attention.
 

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Autozone shows on their web site that the heater core for that vehicle is only $50.00. Must be a difficult install?

After a little research, this seems to be a common problem with the GM S-10s and the GMC Sanomas. It is attributed to the Dex Cool coolant that GM uses in the cooling systems.

http://www.automotivehelper.com/topic83185.htm

Its a $700 repair because the entire cooling system has to be flushed and cleaned out. If the heater core is plugged you can bet that there is plenty of rusty chunks floating around in the entire engine.
 

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My heater on my 2000 GMC Yukon XL quit working a while back. I took it to my mechanic and he said it just needed a heater washout. He ran some water through it and didn't even have to add any antifreeze.

It was cheap and is working good now.

oldguy
 

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There is absolutely no 3 day rule in the state of Washington, new or used, unless somebody comes to your house and sells you something.
Bruce, if you want to drop me a PM, I will see if I can't be of some help. There are some implied warranties, and if the system won't defrost the windows, that's probably a safety issue. ???
Did you buy it from a reputable dealer? If so, you need to find a way to the owners ear. The farther up you go, the more likely you are to get a yes.
 

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I've run into this problem many times in the past with clients.
Unless you have a warranty, it is pretty much 'sold as is'.........as the sticker most likely indicated on the vehicle.
That's too bad, but they would have allowed you to take this rig to your own mechanic prior to the sale, just for your own piece of mind.
 

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sorry about the bummer, hook, but from watching ******* TV, I mean daytime court shows, used cars seem to be sold as is. What dealership?
 

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I would push to get them to pay for it. If they refuse, I would not trust them with the repair. Take it somewhere else for the repair.
 

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I had a almost exact issue on a 94 Minivan I bought from a dealer a few years back. They said they would fix heater core for 600.00 I brought to Walts radiator chain in Marsyville and they fixed for about 250.00 if memory serves me correct. Try around!

Yep, no 3 day law in WA. I researched it all over the place.
 

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Oh and what Seasport says brings back memorys. When I lived in SF bay area years ago. There was a family that bought a lemon of a Motorhome. I think they were upset as the motor siezed like a day after they bought it. This family would walk every weekend on the city sidewalk in front of the dealer with signs saying dont buy here and things like that. They made the news and all. However the dealer countered by putting signs out saying something like over 10.000 happy customers served and 1 wanting unfair repairs.

As I remember the guy never did give up and pay or help for family. However it worried other car dealers on Stevens creek auto row. It made for better deals if you got a lemon in that area.
 

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I thought there was a three day rule in state too. I am sorry about your troubles. I thought thats what it was last night. Maybe the dealer would go 50/50 with you if you talked to a senior manager. I can hook you up with my friend who has a shop in puyallup, he does great work for a lot less than the dealer.
 

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I would go back and talk to the highest up person that you can in a very calm business like tone. If that doesn't work I might mention that you own a large fishing website and could easily organize a small sidewalk protest over being sold a "lemon". I would drive up for a day on the weekend and hold a sign for you.
 

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The 3 day right of rescission is for goods, not services sold to consumers at their place of residence (home).

Bummer though. I would think a well delivered concern, followed by some certified letters, hearsay complaints from Friends and family, a street protest of sign carrying consumers, midnight vigils and T.V. and newspapers stories may help. :mrgreen:

There's a guy driving around the Tacoma Puyallup area with a huge stand up sign in the bed of his truck that says. "MERIDIAN WRECKING RIPPED ME OFF". He parks outside their gate on weekends...
 
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