An­swers to your car ques­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - WHEELS - DEN­NIS O’SUL­LI­VAN

QUES­TION

Dear Mr. O’Sul­li­van. I have a ques­tion for you. I bought a 2007 Honda 420 ATV from a lo­cal per­son. The ATV was con­sid­ered the son’s ma­chine but the own­er­ship was in the father’s name and he was the one who I dealt with for the trans­ac­tion. I bought the ma­chine on Sept. 15, 2016 a cou­ple of weeks be­fore I went hunt­ing with it. I was as­sured that this ma­chine was ready to go. The oil was changed on the en­gine and the oil was also changed on the rear and front dif­fer­en­tial. He said that the oil was al­ways changed in the dif­fer­en­tials when driven through mud. The bear­ings and seals were done front and back.

Days af­ter I bought it, I went to ad­just the back brakes. When I took the cover off to look at the brakes, it was full of oil. I went and pur­chased a bear­ing and seal kit for the back dif­fer­en­tial and asked the seller’s son if he would con­sider help­ing me change it be­cause I was run­ning out of time be­fore I was go­ing hunt­ing and he read­ily agreed. The night that he came to help me, he ad­mit­ted that he never did put a seal in the dif­fer­en­tial when he had it apart, which is why there was oil in the brake cham­ber. We re­al­ized how­ever, that the parts store gave me the wrong parts the night he came to give me a hand. He didn’t have time to help me af­ter that so I put it to­gether my­self. We parted on good terms that night but the trou­ble re­ally started while hunt­ing with the ma­chine. This ma­chine is a foot shift and it started to shift re­ally hard, and many times I was not able to get it out of gear. I ad­justed it and it would be a lit­tle bet­ter but get worse as time went on. The sec­ond day of rid­ing, the bat­tery got so hot it TUPQQFE XPSLJOH * lHVSFE PVU UIBU UIF SFDUJlFS RVJU XPSLJOH BOE PWFSDIBSHFE UIF CBUUFSZ * CPVHIU B SFDUJlFS GSPN )POEB

and in­stalled it my­self.

Long story short, this past win­ter I took it to a me­chanic and the bill came to $2500 with tax. He pointed out many things that were put to­gether wrong and that many parts were needed. The me­chanic went to change the rear dif­fer­en­tial bear­ing that con­nects to the drive shaft. He showed NF IPX UIF EJGGFSFOUJBM JT OPU lYBCMF CFDBVTF TPNFPOF IBE

welded it to keep it go­ing and he also no­ticed how there was rust on the gears, which means that the owner’s claim of chang­ing oil reg­u­larly can’t be true. 8IFO UIF NFDIBOJD UPPL JU BQBSU UP lOE UIF TIJGUJOH

prob­lem, he found bolts that were put in wrong places. The tim­ing chain ten­sioner was bolted tight so the ten­sioner broke and wedged up in the chain, which kept it tight. If that had not hap­pened, it would have killed the en­gine. I called the pre­vi­ous owner right af­ter the me­chanic called me. I ex­plained what the me­chanic had said and that the es­ti­mate was around $1800. I asked the seller if there was any­thing that they could do to help me con­sid­er­ing that that he as­sured me that I was buy­ing a great work­ing ma­chine at the time of the sale. He said he would talk to his son and get back to me. When the me­chanic called to say that the ma­chine was ready to be picked up, I still hadn’t heard from the pre­vi­ous owner. I then picked up the ma­chine and paid half the bill with the agree­ment to pay the other half later.

I called a friend who agreed to go with me to speak to the pre­vi­ous owner. When we ar­rived, his younger son an­swered the door. He in­formed us that his dad would be ar­riv­ing home in about an hour. We ar­rived back at his house just as the father ar­rived as well. They said that they thought that they had sold a good ma­chine and were sorry that I was hav­ing trou­ble with it but won’t be help­ing with the cost. I pro­ceeded to show XIBU XBT lYFE PO UIF NBDIJOF TIPXJOH

him the old parts and the bill ex­plain­ing in de­tail all the parts and la­bor. I ap­pealed to his con­science by ex­plain­ing that I bought the ma­chine lo­cally from him be­cause I could trust his word. I would not have bought the ma­chine had I known it needed so much work. Since I am a farmer and the seller is a lo­cal sales­man work­ing for a lo­cal com­pany, I thought that he would stand on his word. As we were leav­ing, he said that he would talk to his son and get back to me and that maybe they would do some­thing for me but cer­tainly not pay half as I re­quested.

A week later, he placed two let­ters in my mail­box in­di­cat­ing that he would not help with the cost. I have read an ear­lier ar­ti­cle that you pub­lished in The Record ex­plain­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween sell­ing a ve­hi­cle “as is” and “for parts only”. As this is a lot of money for me, my ques­tion to you is whether you can help me? Thanks for your con­sid­er­a­tion!

San­ford from Mill­bank AN­SWER

Unfortunately, that ma­chine or any type of small recre­ational ve­hi­cle does not re­quire un­der law to have any type of safety in­spec­tion be­fore be­ing sold. It is up to the buyer to have the ma­chine in­spected be­fore they pur­chase it. Some courts may con­sider the fact that you were told prior to the sale that the ma­chine was in good con­di­tion but it would have to be proven that the owner knew that not to be true. The time and cost to prove that legally could very well ex­ceed the cost of the ma­chine. There has been a case where a ve­hi­cle was sold un­der the Min­istry guide­lines As IS and the owner knew that the ve­hi­cle could OPU CF DFSUJlFE XIJMF BU UIF TBNF UJNF

as­sur­ing the buyer in writ­ing that the ve­hi­cle was in great shape and would be very easy to cer­tify. That com­pli­cated case ended up forc­ing the seller to give back the money for the ve­hi­cle. I can­not give you any le­gal ad­vice but I do not see any le­gal grounds for you to pur­sue the seller in your case.

PS: To my read­ers: If pos­si­ble, it would be ap­pre­ci­ated if your emails would in­di­cate the town, city or vil­lage that you live in.

Please be ad­vised that all emails can­not be an­swered. Send your ques­tions (be sure to in­clude your ad­dress) by email to:: den­nis.osul­li­van@co­geco.ca or mail: Box 10019, Wi­nona, ON L8E 5R1

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