How To Spot A Lemon!
It’s every potential used car buyers worse nightmare. Purchasing what they think is a perfect used car to find out later that it is full of headaches while draining the pocket book with countless repairs. The hunt for a trouble free and reliable car can be easier then think. Knowing how to recognize the warning signs and finding out the reliability of a vehicle will help you determine if a vehicle is a good buy or a disaster waiting to happen.
Educate yourself before you begin the car hunt
As soon as you are on the hunt for a used vehicle do some quick research. A quick search of “Most reliable used cars” will return countless websites and information on the top used cars based on owner reviews and professional comparisons.
Make a close inspection of both the interior and exterior of the car
When first looking at a vehicle do a close up walk around looking for the obvious dents, scratches, and rusted body panels (especially on wheel wells and fenders). You should also look closely for misaligned body panels, damaged or cracked seals along windows, doors, and trunks. As you move into the interior of the car looked for cracked dashboards and any other vinyl pieces that are exposed to the sunlight. Ensure all knobs and switches are in place and function properly. Another indicator that the vehicle might have previously been in a collision is the seatbelts. When a vehicle is involved in collision the seat belts will sometimes fray or have slight tears in them. Also, while you are in the vehicle, make sure there is no musty or mildew smell as the often are a sign of a water leak, which can be a major headache.
Take the vehicle on a test drive
Never purchase a vehicle without having a test drive first. Insure that the car does not acceleration or braking issues. Pay close attention to when you travel over bumps to make sure the car does not bounce up and down excessively which would indicate a worn suspension. Make sure that the car does not pull to one side or the other when moving, and that it steering wheel can be easily turned when the car is making sharper turns. If you are not car savvy it is a good idea to bring along a friend or family member who is, and can give you a reliable opinion on the vehicle.
Bring the car to a mechanic
Have the vehicle inspected by a quality mechanic before you agree to purchase it. A quality inspection for about $150 will be worthwhile and can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands in the long run.
Get the vehicle’s history report
With the vehicle identification number and a small fee (usually around $20) you can obtain an vehicle history report, which is a major benefit to the buyer when making the final decision on whether or not to purchase the vehicle.