1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Motors Buying a car without service history

Discussion in 'General' started by Awoken, 2 Feb 2013.

  1. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    Has anyone bought a car without service history in the UK? What tips would you offer?

    I've just been to see a mint 2006 Ford Mondeo Edge. Fantastic car (checked very thoroughly for all the usual + full AA HPI Check), good price but no service history and only one recent MOT (one advisory for a nail in the tire which was fixed). I had a good drive around, checked under all the upolstory and had a good nose about in the engine. It was sweet to drive and everything was in good shape (Vin numbers match, no sign of spray repair, clean HPI, no moisture in oil tank, battery contacts have been well kept, brakes are progressive when stopping suddenly and don't screach or veer, no corrosion or signs of welding, etc). The only dark cloud is the lack of service history and older MOT certificates but as you can buy prestamped service books on ebay (some can be made to order!) I wasn't put off but I wondered what experiences other people have had?
     
  2. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    Just to clear things up I do not intend to buy a fake book from ebay but I do plan on calling up the previous owner and trying to track down the service history of the car. I also plan to buy a new service history book from my local for dealership.
     
  3. CrapBag

    CrapBag Multimodder

    Joined:
    17 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    7,977
    Likes Received:
    508
    A good service history is nice but it isn't the be all and end all.

    I bought a car with a comprehensive service history and a lot of reciepts and the computer failed 3 months later costing me nearly £600.

    If you have a mechanic that looks after your cars, take it to them and have them check it out if possible, far better than a load of paperwork in my eyes.
     
  4. Landy_Ed

    Landy_Ed Combat Novice

    Joined:
    6 May 2009
    Posts:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    39
  5. craigp84

    craigp84 What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    28 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    81
    Likes Received:
    14
    Given you've checked the basics and they're sound, a lack of service history wouldn't bother me. The bottom line is even with a "1 lady owner, full main dealer service history", the turbo / a.n. other expensive part could go bang tomorrow. If it drives well just now with no niggles, it's probably good enough.

    IIRC edge is the base model loved by rental companies? It has a *hellishly* uncomfortable drivers seat (& likely the other seats too!)
     
  6. TheBlackSwordsMan

    TheBlackSwordsMan Far over the misty mountains cold

    Joined:
    16 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    4,035
    Likes Received:
    448
    Last time, I used Carfax.
     
  7. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    I had the Mondeo Silver 06 until a week ago when it met its end on the ice. The seats for both are the same (except the edge lacks height adjustment). I find it pretty comfortable and at 6' 5" that's a rare thing; most cars make me feel like i'm in a cartoon, with my legs bunched right up underneath the steering wheel and my spine curled slightly so that 50% of my vision isn't obscured by the roof line. I'm saving up for something more luxurious but in the mean time I'm constrained by the money I bled the insurance company for and a bit of cash I had left from last month. A good diesel boutmondeo should last about 200,000 miles if well looked after so it's my go to car because it's cheap and there are plenty on sale to choose from. This one has alloys, AC, Auto wipers and lights, an auto dimming rear view mirror, heated front and rear windows, parking sensor and metallic silver paint which is still in good condition (a little work with a DA Polisher would make it look new). With 56,000 on the clock and little wear on the upholstery to match it's a decent car for the price.
     
  8. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    I'm going to have it looked at by a local garage who I take all my families cars to, if there's anything amiss they'll find it.
     
  9. NigelT

    NigelT What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    30 Apr 2011
    Posts:
    159
    Likes Received:
    2
    For me it depends how much the car is being sold for. Up to 3-4k I'd still go for it without the history if it seems in good condition. More than that and I'd want the reassurance that some form of maintenance has been carried out. With a mondo though surely there must be a million to choose from so finding one with the righ spec and FSH shouldn't be too hard?
     
  10. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    I haggled a good discount because of the lack of FSH and nothing I have seen so far has had such good mileage and general condition. The lack of FSH has been the only black cloud but I'm less worried having asked about and found many people who haven't had FSH with their own cars. I'm getting it to just run and run, I know with it being 6-7 years old already I'll very little for it when I'm done with it in 4-5 years time.
     
  11. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

    Joined:
    24 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    2,390
    Likes Received:
    63
    Do Mondeos come with gaffer tape?
     
  12. BennieboyUK

    BennieboyUK CPC Folder of the Month Sep 2011

    Joined:
    24 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    113
    I've only had one bad experience with buying a car without service history and I am sure it was an isolated one, but one that made me never buy a car without FSH again.

    I can go into the long story if you like, but the end result was the car was right off.

    I'd ask yourself the question, what is the risk that the money saving you'll get up front from the car not having history give you ROI on the potential of issues coming as a result of you not seeing the history. - My vote is no.
     
  13. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2003
    Posts:
    23,592
    Likes Received:
    420
    If it inspects OK, that's pretty much all that matters.

    It might not be possible, but do modern Fords have any in-built service information/tracking? I know with Minis and Audis the onboard systems keep a record of the servicing. It's also worth ringing the local dealers (and the supplying dealer if it still has its original numberplates) around the previous owner's address to see if it was serviced there - they will have records kept for it all.

    Either way, I'd budget for a cambelt change (assuming it is a belted engine, I think all Ford's are atm) as a precaution and be happy. :)
     
  14. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    @law99: Cheeky! In the bad old days <2003 it seemed like that was a 'feature' on most. Since then things have been better.
    @BennieBoyUK: That is what has been niggling in the back of my mind but I know what the expensive faults sound like and its going to get a thorough checking by a garage local to me to assuage my suspicions. Anything wrong and it'll get returned for repair/refund from the seller.
    @Krikkit: It's a 2006 so it doesn't have a service light/computer. I'll do it the old fashioned way like you said. Cambelt is first on my list as I couldn't get a good look when I went to see it (there were none of the familiar worrying noises on the 20 mile test drive though which would indicate brake faults, clutch slip, injector failure or subframe problems).
     
  15. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2003
    Posts:
    23,592
    Likes Received:
    420
    I wouldn't worry too much if everything looks sound - anything else other than the cambelt which can go bang isn't a service item anyway. Change the oil and belts, enjoy. :)
     
  16. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

    Joined:
    24 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    2,390
    Likes Received:
    63
    Soz... couldn't resist. The old ones though... yeah. It was like Ford said "Oh and there is some gaffer tape with the spare wheel in case your bumper perishes"

    Cambelts are one of those things... some people only do them on the mileage... my friend learnt the hard way not to do that when his van tore itself to pieces on the motorway. Normally x miles or 4 years ain't it?

    Anyhow... you sound like you know what you are doing so don't worry.

    A colleague recently bought a car from a dealer. A small fault appeared. Then a friend who is a mechanic went to start it and said "that's odd. No abs light came up". Turns out someone had taped over it... !!! Needless to say they took it back... garage shat themselves and did all the work required to get it up to scratch.

    Honestly, by that point, I wouldn't have taken the car back unless I knew them personally. Which they did, so fair enough.
     
  17. GMC

    GMC Minimodder

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    36
    Pretty much as Krikkit has said: If it checks out then the service history isn;t truly necessary. It would only tell you the historical maintenance schedule.
    Make sure to check the coolant, oil, see that it's fresh(ish), take a look at the air filter - ought to be done for selling a car. If you can - take a look at the fuel filter as that's often skipped and gives a truer indication of the service intervals. check brakes etc.

    You said that you had checked the vin numbers, make sure to check the reg matches up to all documentation. I bought my car which had experienced a couple of private plates and it was a pain to sort out the previous owner (and MOT station) laziness in not making sure that MOT certs had been reissued correctly.

    Finally, if you can check the computer, make sure that you have a good look at the dashboard light cycle when you first turn the power on - there is usually a test cycle that would allow you to see if any bulbs have been disconnected - seen it happen for airbag warnings, check engine, etc. from some less then ethical sellers.

    That said - all these things should be checked regardless of having a service history..

    Also check for any recalls on the model and contact the manufacturer/local dealer to check their databases and see if that VIN number has been 'treated'
     
  18. Awoken

    Awoken Gazing at the stars

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2004
    Posts:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    18
    @GMC: I'll check the Haynes as I think it has the light cycle order. I really didn't think they'd just unplug the warning light, wow, I'll check that one!
    No recalls on that model but quality control wasn't perfect and I know most of the stuff to look out for.
     
  19. Harlequin

    Harlequin Modder

    Joined:
    4 Jun 2004
    Posts:
    7,086
    Likes Received:
    180
    went to see a Vauxhall corsa (3 cyclinder job) - cheap enough but something wasn't quite right , had that little ` alarm bell` in my head.

    fsh on it , recent cam belt so the receipt said

    still - walked away.

    was still for sale when I saw it on the back of an RAC lorry - engine let go in traffic @ 40. and since I knew the rac bloke (he`s a mate) he reckoned if it had even had an oil change in its life he was the pope.
     
  20. GMC

    GMC Minimodder

    Joined:
    26 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    36
    It ought to give you something to check against. All warning lights should come on when the power is on before starting.
    Obviously not switchable stuff like indicators, fogs etc though.
    Always check dipstick and have a taste/sniff of the coolant. :what:
    Also, make sure to check the annoying little things. The things that would wind you up after. Use all electric windows and mirrors, stereo on and off saving stations, Aircon, all vents move, take a cig light charger with an led and make sure they work, use key in all locks, check spare tyre, get the locking wheelnut key if it has locking nuts...
    If you can test drive make sure under braking she stays more true and straight than veering wildly if not holding the wheel. :eek:

    I always make a list of checks before going, but even then you'll forget something...
     

Share This Page