Used Car Private Sale Issues Aircon

Recently i brought a 2nd- hand ute, It has 140,000km and 2007 model, 4x2 single cab.

Before I brought I had a test drive and look at it, i had noticed that air-con would only really work at setting 3 or higher but still be very inefficient. I thought it needed to be regassed. When I took to get assessed by air-con place, they have stated that the evaporator is severely blocked and it needs to be replaced. They have costed they job at $1100.

i then rang the guy who sold the car and since i have brought the car as is, he will not offer any compensation. I was suggesting 50/50 or something like that. He stated that this the first he had heard of the air con problems, neither his workers or the mechanic at never told him of the air con issues. It was traffic/ labour hire company and I suspect he has never driven the ute. I am very surprised if none of his workers had told him of the air con issues, so either he is lying and generally did not know. At the same time the company was selling 3 utes and I another ute I tested had the same air con problems. Also, the car horn doesn't work. I had assumed because the car had roadworthy so the horn would work. I found out about the horn a few days later when i had needed to press it when driving, again when i rang him he did not want to help or thinks it is his problem.

i will be reporting the mechanic who did the roadworthy to the transport office on the issue of the horn. it will hard to prove that the horn was not working because i didn't test the horn at the time of key handover.

i was sought advice from racq legal helpline and office of fair trading and i have no rights to help me out in this situation.


i was wondering if anyone has any opinions or advice.


  • +19 votes

    Buying second hand goods privately is always "buyer beware". You test drove the car and parted with the cash and it doesn't sound like they were deceptive in any way. Deal done.

    Sorry! The problems with the ute are your problems now.

    Buyer beware. Get proper vehicle inspections done next time.

    • +4 votes

      This. Buyer beware. Wether the seller knew or not, it's your problem now.

      In my experience a roadworthy check is little more than checking the lights and wipers function and the tyres are Ok. It is not a thorough mechanical inspection (at least here in NSW). Hardly worth reporting as the mechanic will simply say the horn worked when tested.


        having working horn is part of getting roadworthy, so the mechanic is not doing his job if doesn't test it.
        it will be almost impossible to prove that it wasn't working when i brought the car and it is quite possible that it failed in the three days from when i had it.

        i just dont enough of how a car horn works to know how they fail, and if one day they just wont work.

        the horn relay was faulty.


          A faulty relay can be an intermittent fault, ie the horn may have worked for the mechanic


        Don't RWCs have some kind of expiry date as well anything can happen in between but you may have a leg to stand on if the seller sold you a non-road worthy car (correct me if I'm wrong).

        If the RWC guys says it was working when he tested it, good for him, he won't be responsible.

        If I were you, I would get the RWC done again. A cheap RWC at a chain store, these places usually have very strict RWCs so they can get additional jobs. Also, the RWC fault reports may carry additional weight because they are a large chain and nobody wants to dispute those.

        Judging by the age and mileage, surely some issue is going to be dug up and you can proceed on that premise.

        Unfortunately the private seller is not a dealer so there is no warranty and I don't know how bad it is to sell a non-road worthy car or how likely it is you will get it fixed or refunded. Make sure pursuing this will not cost you more than it already has.

        Me? I'm just a person who hates the flexibility of the RWC system and how people abuse it.

  • +3 votes

    So you already got advice from the racq and office of fair trading (why?), and are now coming here for help.

    Did he give you a warranty on the car? Nope, didn't think so.
    If you didn't test the horn, how do you know it wasn't working at the time, have you checked the fuse?
    Are there any chips in the paint that he didn't point out to you? Should he pay to have it resprayed as a result.

    Your requests are ludicrous!

  • +4 votes

    Wait, you test drove the Ute, knew the problem but still paid for it, and now you're expecting the seller to pay half the repair job? Your problem only now, next time, stop assuming things.

    • -1 vote

      i thought the aircon had problems but was a minor problems but i wouldn't call the aircon average.

      some of your points maybe fair, but no need to call me a knob.

      life is generally unfair, and thought maybe the seller would work out some arrangement. but he doesnt have to and i have to cop that.


          you are right should of protected myself better

          evaporator is very blocked up and the mechanic said the best option is to replace it. will see what another aircon place says, whether to clean or replace it.

          from now on, will only buy a used car with some sort of detailed inspection (racq or similar). i have learnt my lesson for the future.

  • +3 votes

    You have no recourse here whatsoever. It is all your problems.


    What did the mechanic you took it to pre-purchase say about the condition of the air-conditioning and the rest of the car?


    Pretty sure air con is not a rwc item
    The horn should be though.
    The safety cert is normally valid for 28 days….. I think
    I would go back to the mechanic who did the rwc about the horn but the air con is really a buyer beware.
    I would ring around though the repair cost vary greatly
    What make and model?


    Caveat emptor

  • +2 votes

    Pity you didn't read this post


    The guy didn't look under the bonut.

    • -1 vote

      it is not clear if the seller did or did not know if the engine was leaking or not. the seller in that case was hoping to get some compensation like me but the law isnt in our favour. which is fair enough.

      fair enough, the seller doesn't owe me anything, when i rang him about the aircon issue, that he claimed no one told him about the issue. i found it hard to beleive that not one of his drivers had told him about the aircon problem. i believed he did know and would rather he said he had known about aircon issues but he didnt have to tell me. which he is right to do. also the problem was in more than one of the utes, so i just dont believe him that he had no idea about the aircon issues or unless he was protecting himself in case he thought i would take him to court or something (not going to do that)

      but again it is my fault in not verifying the faults and repair costs before purchase, and the seller has done nothing wrong, even he knew about the aircon issue or not, he wasn't hiding it but just not telling me. which he can do