Why are things not built to last anymore?


This week has been a nightmare week for me. I am not one to wallow in self-pity or get down about silly things, but this has really effected me so much so I cannot sleep.

This week our car broke down by the side of the road on the A30. I was on my own with the three youngest children, on our way to Cornwall for a short break. It was a stressful experience but we were safe, we got home (eventually) and the recovery drivers couldn’t have been more helpful, although did all tell me this was a common fault with the engine that I had in my car – why did I not know this before?

We bought our car two years and one month ago after saving hard. I test drove numerous 7 seaters and after having a Citroen Picasso for the previous 8 years I was confident that Citroen was a brand I liked and trusted so decided on a Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 HDI, which was a middle of the range vehicle. We chose diesel over petrol as we do quite a lot of mileage on days out etc and we were advised that a good diesel engine will go for over 200k miles.

The car was an ex-mobility car so we had the added assurance that it was low mileage and had been well serviced, however, we also purchased 3 years extended warranty to cover us just in case. Up until now we have had no issues with the car, apart from the normal wear and tear. The car has been serviced regularly and had new brakes and bearings fitted at the end of last year.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the Citroen dealership we bought it from, and where it had gone for repair.

I am sorry madam, your car is a write-off


My regularly serviced car with 50,000 miles on the clock was a write-off!

It seems the engine has seized, for reasons I do not understand as I am not a mechanic. My car needs a whole new engine which will cost £6,000, more than the car is worth to trade in.

I was really not happy with the details of the conversation which followed which I have written down just in case. I asked to make a warranty claim and they have gone back to the insurer with details of the engine fault.

I have since found out that the dealership then contacted the garage I last had my car serviced at, asking all sorts of questions. I do not know if this is normal practice under the circumstances, but I am feeling very uneasy about the whole thing.

After posting on my personal facebook page yesterday it seems I am not alone with these issues and the general consensus is that things are just not built to last anymore as we have become a throw away society.

So now I am on tenterhooks, will they accept the claim and replace my engine, or am I going to have an almighty fight on my hands?


12 thoughts on “Why are things not built to last anymore?

  1. I think this post is the reason we’ll never ever buy a car!! So sorry about this hun! x

  2. Life as Mum says:

    Oh god no way! I would of cried! Hope it gets accepted
    Life as Mum recently posted…Our Family Holiday in South Wales {Part #1}My Profile

  3. This sucks Hun 🙁 I really hope they accept the claim. x
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  4. Viki Marden says:

    Oh no. It does seem a little odd for them to phone the garage though. I don’t think I have ever heard of that happening. I do hope everything gets sorted out x
    Viki Marden recently posted…Easter in PicturesMy Profile

  5. Oh god what a nightmare! It’s very true that things are built the way they used to be – my mum’s volvo had 200,000 miles on the clock before it went to the knacker’s yard! Insane! H x
    Harriet from Toby & Roo recently posted…The perfect pizza dough recipe for family pizza nights!My Profile

  6. Kerry Norris says:

    Oh so sorry to hear about this. Really not what you need and really wouldn’t expect that to happen to the car. I think with all the computer systems they put in cars these days they are too fancy for their own good x

  7. Candace says:

    Oh no. Sorry to see the car trouble you’ve had. I agree things really aren’t made to last last like they used to be. It’s quite annoying at times
    Candace recently posted…Blogging Awards TimeMy Profile

  8. Fi says:

    Omg poor you – breaking down at the side of the road with small kids in tow is one of my greatest fears! I’m not even sure what to do (I’d better look into that one!) It does sound a bit odd, maybe best to double check with someone who knows?

  9. Kay says:

    Oh no!! Car’s are such money pits! We bought an estate in 2014 and it has had to have a lot of work done to it, including in January with a repair cost over £1000! Right after christmas, was a bloody nightmare!

    Hoping you get it all sorted! xxx
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  10. This is so soul destroying for you Kara. Someone once told me “cars will drain your money” and they are so right but sadly they are a necessity. My ‘new to us’ car has cost us over £2k in less than 6 months of ownership and we really don’t have that kind of money. My Mum has dug us out of the hole each time but I can’t turn to her forever. I hope this gets a positive result for you x
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  11. Awh noooooh! That is an absolute nightmare, and very strange of them to contact the garage, very weird and right to feel uneasy about it. I do hope they come through and you get a replacement engine 🙂 x
    Kellie Kearney recently posted…Mummy Cooks Insulated Food Flask ReviewMy Profile

  12. Katharine says:

    Had a computer problem with my car which took it off the road for 2 months. Took it to my usual mechanic, but as the problem was computer related he referred to a computer specialist, who was also baffled, it then went to a main dealer – who for some reason fitted a second hand part – car still not fixed – went back first mechanic who referred to a different main dealer branch. In all my car was seen by four different garages and they all swapped notes – I still have no idea what the problem was, one garage even wanted their part back!
    I felt that I was one woman vs. a garage mafia.
    I have since sold that car, it had 55k miles on the clock and was the same age as yours. It was other French brand.
    Before that I also had a Citroen at 45k miles and four years old, my mechanic warned me that both the automatic clutch and the gearbox were on the way out. I expected many more miles of trouble free motoring out of both these cars – they are too expensive to be ‘disposable’.
    I bought a German car this time and plan to sell it when it reaches 40k miles.

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