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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just checking here to see if anyone could help me.

Heres the story:

I found a 9000 on craigslist and it looked to be in great shape. '98 105k manual. I went to test drive it at the guys house. He said it was his daily driver and it worked great. It drove smoothy so i put money down and said i would come back 2 days later to purchase it. 2 days go by and he has me meet him in a target parking lot. We do the exchange and he leaves. I go to start the car and it won't start.

He mentioned that the battery would probably need replacing, so I tried jumping it. It tries to start and every so often you can get it to start, but there is a bad knowing coming from the engine and it dies after 15 seconds or so even with it revved a little.

a note: the coolant tank was dry upon inspection (water was put in)

Anybody have any ideas? Ive called the guy and left a message.
 

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The non-start and 'bad knocking' is worrysome... The way the seller met you with the car somewhere other than his home is weird and makes me wonder what they knew that they didn't want you in front of their home with the car... A spun bearing could cause a drag on the engine preventing start and causing the knock. The empty coolant reservoir is worrysome. How's the engine oil look?

Any more details discovered about the car/problems since then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't think it was odd at first since he claimed it was because it was safer to do the transaction in public, but now it all makes sense. Of course I didn't think to check the oil. That will be the next thing I check.

What I'm wondering is what he could have done in between the time i drove it and the time he put it in the parking lot. Thinking maybe he had it towed there.
 

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Yeah, it's a bit odd in that respect; you said it ran well, so unless it was somehow bait and switch, I can only speculate that the engine broke (or was broken) between then and when you bought it. Hopefully that isn't timing or bearing related,

So I'm wondering why the coolant was low. Is there a leak? Why won't it start? Did he say anything about the vehicle's history just prior to it being sold? Did it sit a long time, or did he state it was a daily driver until he listed it for sale? Funny (or not so very) things can happen when a car spends a long time sitting.

Which engine is this, BTW? turbocharged? 2.0l, 2.3l I4, or the V6 3.0?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your help so far. Theres no coolant leak that I could tell after I put the water in, of course I didn't get the engine started for more than 15-20 seconds about 2 times. He said that the car was treated well, and from the cosmetics, I can tell that is mostly true. I didn't check the carfax, which i should have probably done. He said he has been driving it every day, he had brought it back from work right before my test drive so I don't think it had been sitting. The engine is a 2.3 l4 turbo. its a cse.
 

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I wouldn't be to worried about the carfax, it's really not going to tell you much about the maintenance done in most cases. Mine had a clean carfax and had sludge issues in 4k miles from purchase.

Check the oil to make sure it doesn't look like coffee with cream. Check and see if you have fuel pressure. Spark is a bit harder to test but it can be done. If you have a code reader plug it in and see if the car can tell you anything.
 

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If I were you Id track him down and get your money back if you can . Knocking is never good and a dry coolant tank is a concern. Did you pay much? May have to keep it for a spares car!
 

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This won't have any bearing on lack of water or knocking but..........
have you turned the VSS off ?
On the '98 models here in the UK, the fob will need to have the left button pressed after about 2 mins if the car hasn't been started. If you don't do that the engine will fire up and stop a few seconds later. All part of the security system

Is the non start nothing more than that ?
It has certainly caught out a few 'new' owners
Use the remote, lock the car and unlock it. Then try starting it within a minute or two. If it fires and dies then lock/unlock on the remote fob again.


It seems very odd that you drove it a couple of days ago and suddenly it won't start, if it does it knocks and there is no water in it.
 

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I just do not get it. 105K is so low miles this guy should have had many people wanting to buy that. Something stinks here. I would be over at the guys house asking for an explanation. Don’t you have the title with his old address? Or his phone number or the craigslist listing. This is either a total misunderstanding or the guy is a thief, no middle ground on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update

Well I went back to the car this evening. I checked the oil, which was less than an inch above the max line, but a good dark color, no creamy or white, so i guess thats good news. I got the car starting every time I try, but it won't stay running for more than 10-15 seconds and has the bad knock.

I took audio of the engine running. maybe someone with a better ear for this can determine the problem.

Here is the sound: http://soundcloud.com/will-elliott/engine-noise

Many thanks to all of you.

P.S. I have contacted the guy and he is of no help. says "the car was running at the time of sale" which is false. I may be filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General Consumer Fraud Bureau very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update

So I went back to the car tonight:

The water I put in the coolant tank was still there, and still looks like water. I can get the car to start when I want it too, it just doesn't stay running for more than 10-15 seconds before shutting off.

I checked the oil and other than it being a little dark and slightly (very slightly) overfilled, I see no problems, creamy spots etc. Under the Direct Ignition looks ok too.

I took a sound of the engine so maybe someone with better ears for this could help me find the problem:

http://soundcloud.com/will-elliott/engine-noise


PS: I contacted the guy and all he could say was "the car was running at the time of sale" and is not much help. Looks like Ill be filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General Consumer Fraud Bureau to get some repair money out of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update

So I went back to the car tonight:

The water I put in the coolant tank was still there, and still looks like water. I can get the car to start when I want it too, it just doesn't stay running for more than 10-15 seconds before shutting off.

I checked the oil and other than it being a little dark and slightly (very slightly) overfilled, I see no problems, creamy spots etc. Under the Direct Ignition looks ok too.

I took a sound of the engine so maybe someone with better ears for this could help me find the problem:

Sound Clip


PS: I contacted the guy and all he could say was "the car was running at the time of sale" and is not much help. Looks like Ill be filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General Consumer Fraud Bureau to get some repair money out of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Update

(Ive tried posting this but it says awaiting moderators approval.)

So anyways I went to the car today and checked a few things. The oil looks ok, no creamy color although it is a little less than an inch over filled. The water I put into the coolant tank is still there and looks ok which i think is good news.

The car will start on command now but still has a bad knocking and dies after 10 seconds or so. I took audio of the knock in case someone with better ears for this could figure it out, but I think the link is why the post needs to be moderated so ill leave it out of this one.

I talked to the guy and all he said was the car was in working condition when sold, and was no help. Looks like ill be filing with the Illinois Attorney General Consumer Fraud Bureau soon.

Thanks again for all your guys help.
 

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Some evidence you might pursue is a car fax that will show pervious mileage. We had a curtain cold climate nationality out here where some car people were able to reset the odometers with some kind of software. I personal witnessed the Washington state patrol investigating the situation. That adds a more serious penalty and is not hard to win over a jury with that evidence. Despite if you cannot prove who did the set back. 105K is too low, something stinks. These cars hold up very well, so it could have 200K. Just a thought.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Link to sound

Here is the link to the audio of the engine.

Any ideas appreciated!

http://soundcloud.com/will-elliott/engine-noise
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some evidence you might pursue is a car fax that will show pervious mileage. We had a curtain cold climate nationality out here where some car people were able to reset the odometers with some kind of software. I personal witnessed the Washington state patrol investigating the situation. That adds a more serious penalty and is not hard to win over a jury with that evidence. Despite if you cannot prove who did the set back. 105K is too low, something stinks. These cars hold up very well, so it could have 200K. Just a thought.


Thanks, Ill look into that
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The last car fax odometer reading was 94,000 on 05/03/2010. It was when the first owner owned it. (I am the third owner) I don't see any red flags here with odo readings.
 

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Heck these are great cars and if it has that low of miles I would be inclined to fix it. I would not start it and run it anymore until you can get someone to give it a quick look over. See if the belt is on it, might be one of the timing chain gears just went bad or something simple stuff. Pull the valve cover off and look at the cam followers. How much do you pay?
 

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Listened to the audio. I have no idea actually what it is, but does anyone agree it's reminiscent of a spun/disintegrated rod bearing?
 

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It sounds like it's a deep motor knock and it almost sounds like it's locking up briefly
 
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