The term “lemon” pertains to a car, whether brand new or used, that has substantial defects that aren’t fixed even after repeated trips to the repair shop. While there’s a law that protects consumers against this problem, it’s best to avoid buying a faulty automobile altogether so you won’t have to go through the hassle of sending it to the mechanic frequently.
If you’re planning to buy a used car, here are useful tips to avoid buying a lemon:
- Know What You Want
Before you browse at different brands and models, you should list down the features that you want to have in your car. This way, you narrow down the search which can help you focus on the ones that match the attributes you are looking for and find the best deals for those vehicles.
- Check Reviews and Records
Always do your research first. Check customer reviews on their experience with a company and read their feedback on the automobile they bought. You can find plenty of reliable car dealerships such as https://www.visionhyundaiwebster.com/ that sell both brand new and used vehicles, which come directly from the manufacturer.
Assess a brand and model’s reliability record through sites like Cheat Sheet, Consumer Reports, and Reliability Index to choose the best one.
- Scrutinize the Car
You must go to the dealership and ask to see the actual car. Inspect each section of the vehicle, as well as every nook and cranny. This way, you can observe for yourself if the car is worth its price.
The essential factors you must check are the mileage, exterior, interior, and the parts under the hood. Plus, take it for a spin around the block to get a feel of the engine’s condition.
These are the elements you must look over in a used car:
Confirming the distance traveled by the vehicle is one of the essential checks you should make when buying a used car. Remember that autos with higher mileages, going past 70,000 kilometers, have been used extensively. This results in worn parts that are likely to be a problem for the next owner.
Inspect the outside of the car and watch out for dents, signs of rust, chipped paint, mismatched body parts, broken lights, and cracked windows. Look at the gaps between the panels as well, to ensure that they have a consistent width and lineup.
After examining the exterior closely, it’s time to assess the inner parts, such as the headliner, dashboard, knobs, handles, and buttons. Take heed of cracks, frays, and other signs of damage. The interior of a car could provide evidence if it was involved in a collision.
- Under the Hood
Look at the parts under the hood like the engine, radiator, and battery. These should be spotless with no signs of rust, grease, or other leaks. Be aware of melted wires, rigid tubes, and worn belts.
- Get a Second Opinion
Hire the services of a qualified, third-party mechanic to get a professional opinion on the condition of the car. Think of this as getting a doctor’s fit-to-work certificate for your potential vehicle. It’s not enough to look at the car and go for a test drive. These mechanics are trained to spot problems and future issues that may arise from the automobile.
Some things you need to know about a professional inspection:
- It’s a Common Service
A lot of repair shops, independent garages, and freelance mechanics perform this examination, so there’s a balance between supply and demand.
- It Will Cost You
The fee for this type of inspection ranges between 100 USD and 200 USD, which is a small amount to pay for the money you’ll save from repairs when you buy a lemon.
- It’s Insurance
By having a professional inspect the vehicle you want to buy, you protect yourself from purchasing a death trap that will endanger you and other people’s lives.
- Review Its History
Confirm how many owners the car has been through. The further you are from the original possessor, the more likely it is that the parts have experienced wearing and tearing. Moreover, verify the information that comes with the automobile through sites like AutoCheck which allows you to access the vehicle’s record for a minimal fee.
You just need to type in the car’s identification number, and you can see if it has gone through accidents or floods.
Be wise in selecting and buying used cars so that you don’t waste your money on something that won’t be of use to you in the long run. Research diligently and read up on reviews about the dealership, as well as the vehicle itself. Don’t forget to have a pre-purchase inspection by a professional to get an expert opinion on the auto’s condition.