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Pre-Purchase Inspection Surprise

  • 02-11-2021 5:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Hi all.

    I'm in the market for a used car and am going to be spending more than I've ever spent in my 16 years of motoring. I had my heart set on a Panamera diesel and had found one that ticked the boxes. It was a private sale.

    I saw the car twice and test drove it and it seemed good to me, though I thought there was a little vibration at idle which is supposedly uncharacteristic in this particular diesel. I got a history report from MotorCheck which was clear. I had agreed to a price with the seller pending getting the car looked over by my mechanic.

    This mechanic is as thorough as they come and specialises in crash repair. He's very good at what he does.

    So imagine my surprise when he told me that the car had been rear ended at some stage, not recently, and resprayed in numerous places, though not very well. Now, I had not noticed anything untoward about the paint so this was a total surprise to me. It's also got two broken springs in the back which he says is a big tell because a car like this won't be hauling heavy loads, so it is likely the springs were weakened in the crash and subsequently broke.

    The car was last serviced by Porsche. Would the repaired car have been an issue for Porsche? Would they work on a car that was repaired after a crash? I presume so. So either the springs weren't broken at the last service or the damage and repair happened since then, although as I said, my mechanic thinks it may not have been recently.

    Needless to say I'm so happy to have gotten the car checked as I could have been walking into a nightmare.

    Now what I'm wondering is, do I tell the seller what the garage told me? It's possible the seller doesn't know the car was crashed. He bought it early during the pandemic as a weekend car and is selling because he hasn't gotten to drive it as much as he would have liked. I've been advised by family to make excuses and leave it at that because the garage is local to us both and it may cause agro for the mechanic if the seller takes the news badly. I just think, considering he dropped the car to the garage to facilitate the inspection, the seller is going to ask what the result was. And if I don't tell him, he'll probably ask the garage.

    How would you go about walking away from the sale in this situation?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,156 ✭✭✭ User1998

    Porsche won’t care if the car was ever crashed. They will service it as normal but would most likely inform the owner of broken springs etc

    It would be decent of you to tell the owner of your findings. They may not know it had been crashed

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    WALK AWAY & count your lucky stars........ it's immaterial whether you inform the vendor of your 'findings'

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

    What is he counting his lucky stars for?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Hi and thanks for the advice.

    I do like the car. But I'm not sure I can go ahead and buy it now. For one thing, my wife would absolutely have a conniption if I buy it because all she knows is that the garage say it was crashed and they recommended against buying it. Now, I'm more pragmatic than my wife, I know my cars fairly well and if I was happy with the car regardless I would definitely consider going ahead and buying at a cheaper price. The mechanic said there didn't seem to be any structural damage when viewed from underneath. However, this is a big purchase for me and the car is a bit of a dream car. I just think it would be tainted. I would have doubts about it's soundness and I would probably start to notice the paint issues which the mechanic assures me are there and are bad. The first day I saw the car the weather was fine but it was a bit of a rushed viewing. The second day was wet. So the paint issues may be more obvious and I've just not noticed.

    Secondly I was almost certainly going to take out a warranty on the car through Porsche. I'm not sure this is even a possibility now that there is evidence the car was involved in an accident. They do their own 111 point check before authorising the warranty.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

    Sounds like you've weighed it up, in fairness. It is what it is and it is a big investment as you say.

    I suppose it was just a general point re: avoiding cars with bodywork repairs, it's often not a big deal and is far less likely to be a big deal down the line that extensive mechanical work.

    It's just looking at used cars, being pragmatic as you say, is key. Every used car has a history. If we are going to advise against purchasing used car that needs some light suspension work and has had some panel repairs, just make sure you aren't cutting off your nose to spite your face in terms of age and price point.

    Out of interest, what is the age and mileage on the car, out of interest? Have you viewed a few or is that your first one?

    Was it the V6 diesel or the hybrid?

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    It's what's known in the trade as a " pig in a poke"

    The vendor is 100% guaranteed to know he's offloading trouble

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    This is it, I've bought cars before that I knew had had repairs done. An Alfa 159 for example that had a rear bumper replaced. That car was also on a UK plate and in the country a long time. It had no V5. But I got it for a bargain, got the V5 from Swansea, VRT'd it and had a good few years of fairly happy motoring. It did have issues related to it's rear ending though, the rear parking sensors didn't work. On investigation whoever replaced the bumper just cut the loom going to the sensors. This led to problems because the canbus was presumably sensing wrong voltage/resistances on the loom.

    Re: this Panamera. It's a V6 diesel and it's low mileage for it's age (2014). Just over 100k km. It's the first I've viewed, only in a position to buy very recently and this one is local to me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Sure, whatever you think,

    Mechanic inspection shows vechicle has been rear ended with "numerous re-sprays" & rear springs are broken.

    My advice is to "WALK away" yet you characterise this as " utter scaremongering ".


    Ole granny used to say "a fool and his money are soon parted"......for some reason your post reminds me of this sage advice

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,156 ✭✭✭ User1998

    What trouble? A 7 year old car thats had a bit of paint?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,573 ✭✭✭ cpoh1

    I still bought my daily runner after an inspection showed it had replaced the front wing and bumper had paint. Didnt hesitate for a second, repair job was top quality, and the dealer gave me a few quid off asking when I highlighted it.

    If I was in your shoes I would go back to the seller, explain the situation and look for a few quid off the sale with your discoveries.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Ya I'm torn to be honest. There's definitely an opportunity to buy the car with a bit of discount now. Seems there was no structural damage. Can't understand why there would be paint work done reasonably extensively if there was no major damage. I keep coming back to thinking there was a poor job done on the crystal coat or whatever they call it that was applied as a paint protector and that this is throwing the mechanic off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,156 ✭✭✭ User1998

    All it takes is a small scratch and you have to spray the whole panel if you want it repaired correctly

    Post edited by User1998 on

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

    Yeah, say you reverse into your garden wall at 5km/h. It can happen. You dont brake until it's too late so the bumper gets played like an accordian.

    You're going to have to replace the rear bumper, you could do a little damage to the bootlid leading edge and have to repair that too. Paint the rear bumper and the bootlid and blow that into the two rear quarter panels.

    It's not always the case but to get a good match you often end up painting considerably more of the car than was actually damaged. Colour dependant of course as some are more forgiving than others.

    If the spare wheel well looks straight, there's no rainwater collecting or condensation in it and you can get a magnet to stick to the rear quarter panels, there's very little to be worried about IMO.

    Have you a link to the car?

    Have you done a history check on it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,471 ✭✭✭ standardg60

    When was it last nct'd OP? The broken springs would have been picked up then so they could be relatively recent.

    Is your mechanic judging the rear ending simply by the paintwork if there's no structural damage? I can't imagine someone rear ending or being rear ended in a Panamera could afford/ would agree to an off the books repair given there's no history of one. It's a big car and someone may at some stage got a cheap respray on bits they'd scraped off a pillar or something.

    I'd go back to the seller and explain what you've found, their reaction will probably tell you a lot in regards to their knowledge of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Boot is bone dry. No spare wheel but lifting the carpet there's a Bose amp and that's all dry too.

    The ad is gone, he's not too pushed about selling, was just testing the water so he didn't renew it when it expired.

    I've done the full history check with and it came back clean.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    NCT'd last December.

    He's judging it on the paint, some minor cosmetic damage to one of the tail pipes and the broken springs. I was thinking the same as yourself that repairing this particular car out of your own pocket is going to be pretty eye watering.

    I'm still considering going back and re-negotiating but I don't know if my wife will ever let me hear the end of it if I go ahead and buy the car, as far as she's concerned it's too much money to spend on something with potential issues. But having test driven the car, I know everything works including the reversing sensors and camera and the electric boot lid. Mechanic confirmed that everything seems to work correctly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Just to follow up on this, I walked away in the end. Went back and spoke to my mechanic about the fact that if it was just a cosmetic issue then I'd be happy enough to take the risk. His opinion was that you just don't know how much filler is under the paint job and for the kind of car it is you would want it to be right. Bodywork is very hard to get right.

    So I'm still looking. There's a low spec diesel for sale in Galway at the moment through a reputable garage. Would come with the top end Mapfre warranty.

    I'm also reconsidering the hybrid. Porsche themselves have one which is spec'd very well and would come with 2 years of warranty. They've told me there's a year left on the factory battery warranty and that the extended warranty will also cover the battery. That would be my main concern as with these cars the battery failing results in the car being unusable completely. It's also not possible to refurbish the lithium ion batteries and Porsche charge €20k for a new one 😮

    Also €15k price difference between the independently sold diesel and the Porsche sold hybrid, though to be fair, the hybrid is almost 2 years newer and much higher spec'd.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Looks/ sounds like you got a great mechanic there & make the right decision in walking away from a potential big pile of trouble. I see so many guys can't wait to part with their cash cause they "find" the motor they really really want & are too happy to stick their heads in sand & ignore major RED FLAGS. As I said before, count your lucky stars.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,939 ✭✭✭✭ Toyotafanboi

    It is what it is, if you're not happy, ultimately you do right to walk away.

    I'd probably sit tight a bit, the diesel in general terms is something most workshops could turn a hand to if necessary, buying the hybrid IMO you willl be tying yourself to Porsche main dealer aftersales, which will be saucey.

    They do come up, bide your time would be my advice. Are you interested in any of the other German saloon coupe type things like an A7 or 6 Series? Not quite as unique as a Panamera but still...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,631 ✭✭✭ lintdrummer

    Not a big Audi fan. No particular reason, they just don't grab me.

    I do like the 6 series, have considered the 640D. I have had a lot of BMWs through the years. Currently driving an e92 325i. I just fancy a change and I'm frankly obsessed with the Panamera at the moment. I'm going to see one up north tomorrow. Looks in really good condition. Dealer is spot on so far, has sent me videos of the car, extra photos when I queried some panels that I thought were scratched, picture of the V5, pictures of the service history.

    Taking a spin up tomorrow to see it. It's been in the North since 2016 so no Vat or Customs to pay. Reckon from some calculations that VRT will be approx €8000. Spec is excellent, only slight downside is it's the 250bhp engine vs the 300bhp I drove before. But that's plenty of poke for me and it will be a little more frugal.

    All in I'm looking at €35k. Compare that to the nearest thing this side of the border and for closer to €40k I'd be getting a base spec with no options whatsoever.