2003 Honda Odyssey Urgent! Pls help! Should I KEEP or RETUR

Tiny
JENNYCONG
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 HONDA ODYSSEY
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 66,000 MILES
Hello, everyone,

I purchased a used car"”2003 Honda Odyssey EX-L minivan ( mileage 66K) from Putnam Toyota yesterday. They don’t allow me to take the car to my mechanics man for inspection before I pay for it. They said that another buyer was waiting in the lot to buy it. So I paid $500 for a 2 days cancelation policy. In case anything goes wrong with car, I can return the car to dealer in 2 days---I will lose $500 as restocking fee.

So, after I bought it, I took the car right away to a mechanics “Honda Acura car repair shop in Campbell, CA" for a full inspection. Bad news. The owner John said that there was minor engine oil leak. He lifted the car, and showed me that there was a “palm size" WET area at the bottom of the car. I didn’t see the oil dripping, but I did see this area had oil and was wet.

He did test drive for 5-10 minutes. After that, he opened the hood, there is some burning smell. He said the smell was from engine oil leak.

He did clean and wipe off this area. He asked me to drive 100 miles today and asked me to come back tomorrow to see how severe the leak is.

I did purchased 3 years warranty from dealer for $1100. But John said that he filed/saw so many claims that insurance company wouldn’t pay for"”even the customers thought they had warranty on it.

In my inspection report, John is writing :
“ Minor engine oil leak at rear of engine. Leak at intermediate shafi that mounts to engine block. This area may have high stress under driving condition"”May cause engine block damage cracks. “

He said the engine block damage cracks may cost $5000 to $7000 to repair it. And the problem can get gradually developed and get worse a few months. I am really scared.

Here is my 3 year car warranty ---the EasyCare contracts"”StatedCare (administered by automobile protection corporation-APCO ) from the dealer.
On this 1 page warranty brochure, it says:

“It covers mechanical breakdown on the following items of Engine:

All internal, lubricated parts. Cylinder Block; Cylinder Heads; Harmonic Balancer; Timing Chain, Timing belt, Balance shaft belt, gears, pulleys, guides and tensioners; Oil pump, Intake and exhaust manifold; Diesel Engine vacuum pump, Engine Mounts. The following pars are covered only if damaged by the failure of an internal, lubricated part: Cylinder barrels, Timing Chain cover, valve covers, oil Pan and Rotor Housing. “

So now I am really scared. I only have 1 day to make decision. I want to get second opinion from you here:

1. Should I keep the car ( I guess that I can keep adding engine oil myself? ) Or just return the car ( I will $500 restocking fee ) to avoid future headache?

2. How serious can this “minor engine oil leak" be? If it leaks a lot, then I will return it. But it only has VERY MINOR leaks after I drive 100 miles today, do I have to fix this problem? How much it cost? Can I “live with it" without fixing it? What is the potential future problems for this?

3. If you read my warranty wording above, do you think that the insurance company in general, will pay for repairing the “minor engine oil leak" or Not? What is your past experience on this? ( Today is Sunday. They are closed. John says they usually require the shop to send pictures to them for evaluation. But I only have 1 day left to return the car! )

Thanks for reading. Appreciate any help here!
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 12:36 PM

1 Reply

Tiny
DOCHAGERTY
  • MECHANIC
  • 9,601 POSTS
First, it seems that there is a legal issue here. The seller can and often does put a great deal of pressure on the buyer to commit to the deal. However, when the seller has a "You can not have a pre-purchase inspection done before you pay" sounds like they are in a hurry to "dump" the car. I recommend researching the law and see if they are indeed in violation. I personally would have walked away right there, there are just too many people selling too many cars that are stand up folks to have to deal with this outfit. My gut reaction is to take the $500 hit and drag them to small claims court. If you keep the car, you may have to deal with a lot more than a $500 headache. I do not think it is OK at all to take advantage of women in the car repair realm, and this seems like one of those times. BTW, raising your voice, crying, throwing a temper tantrum, are all perfectly acceptable forms of communication, and I encourage you to play that game, are you with me here?
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Sunday, August 15th, 2010 AT 1:11 PM

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