Buying a car needs one to be cautious and consult widely to avoid a rip-off. More people are buying used cars and the demand continues to grow. It is an awful feeling purchasing a seemingly fine car, only to later realize that you bought a lemon. A lemon car is one that has recurring problems and does not function properly. Lemons, when purchased, will require extensive repairs for systems that otherwise make the car unsafe to drive.
When buying a car, do due diligence to make sure that you are not putting your money down on a lemon. Look out for the following telltale signs on lemon cars before buying one.
Read Repair History
One important element that can give away a lemon is the repair history. Lemon cars will usually require extensive repairs to systems that are essential for the proper functioning of the car. In the repair history, you will be looking to see the parts that needed to be repaired and how often it was done. Most cars will have normal wear and tear issues such as battery replacement, oil and oil filter change, and brake work. On the other hand, lemon cars will have a repair history or tampered on serious and expensive systems such as transmission, electrical systems, or engine replacement.
Also, pay close attention to identify if the repairs were made when the vehicle was new. If that is the case, then it is likely that the automaker bought back the car from the previous owner and made repairs then later resold it to a dealer. While at it, look closely to see if there has been any general maintenance on the car.
Conduct Prepurchase Inspection
Car sellers will do everything possible to make sure that the buyer is attracted to the car. Some buyers just look at the aesthetics and get impressed. When buying a car, a crucial step is conducting an inspection. This will delve more into the car, handling, drive quality, hidden features, and other elements that you give a car its worth. Depending on your car choice, the car dealer should allow you to inspect it fully. If you want a Ford Mustang, for instance, the folks behind westsideauto.com.au/vehicles/list/Ford/Mustang suggest that you should arrange a date for the inspection. An automotive expert or mechanic can help you with the inspection.
On the exterior, check for dents, broken lights, loose paint, and any visible damage. From the inside, check for any noticeable damage signs such as missing headrests, damaged dashboard with missing knobs, and ripped seats. A stiff bumper might indicate suspension problems. Under the hood, a mechanic or automotive expert can help you identify any damage to the battery, radiator, inconsistencies on the transmission fluid, and if there is low oil content.
Check the Tires
Ties have a lot to say about a car’s health. Uneven tread might indicate that the tires have not rotated regularly, meaning that the car might have spent a long time in a garage being worked on. Even tread on the tires can indicate that the car has been in regular use. This should ring alarm bells in your mind. If you buy such a car, you might end up needing expensive wheel alignment in addition to other serious defects because you bought a lemon.
Obtain Vehicle History Report
There are several report services that provide vehicle history reports at a small fee. They are mostly online, and that could be the first place to search for all the past information about the car you intend to buy. The report will include the previous owners, accident history, repairs undertaken on the car, and the current title. Pay close attention to the current car title because it will tell you whether the car is a lemon.
It is the buyer’s responsibility to check whether a car is a lemon or not. Some car dealers are not required by law to disclose if a vehicle is a lemon, although some states have laws that compel car dealers to tell if a car was bought back by the manufacturer.
Check for Recalls
When vehicles don’t meet certain market requirements, a recall is issued by the automaker. Recalls often touch on emission and safety standards. Most vehicle report services can inform you about recalls. You may then ask the seller to furnish you with the recall service documentation to ascertain whether recall service has been undertaken in the car.
Take a Test Drive
A road test can tell you more about a car through the drive quality. Be on the lookout for any funny sounds, shaking steering wheel, and alignment of the car especially as you accelerate.
Don’t be caught off guard by buying a lemon car unknowingly. Use the above tips to avoid lemons at all costs.