How to Protect Yourself from “Lemons”

When buying a used car, you don’t want to be handed a lemon. In the world of automobiles, a “lemon” is a car that, after purchase, was found to be defective. This can happen to both new and used cars. In the worst-case scenario, the flaws are just too severe for the vehicle to be used.

Now, how do you avoid a lemon? Your best bet is to only buy from a trustworthy dealership. Check the track record and other important business details to be absolutely sure.

Aside from the dealership, you should still be able to distinguish a lemon by checking the vehicle itself. Gather information about reliability records of the particular models you are planning to buy. Also, every dealer is required to post a Buyer’s Guide that contains important details on the vehicle being sold.

Inspect the exterior, taking note of any signs of damage (e.g. dents and uneven gaps). Examine the interior to check for problem signs. Some of the most noticeable problems are cracked dashboard, missing buttons, handle, and knobs and sagging headliner. Also take note of the smell.

Other places to check are under the hood, the tires, suspension and the like. To be absolutely sure, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic – he/she can spot things that you might have missed.


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