What Should You Do If You Spot A Lemon Car?
Did you ever go to the market and spot a lemon that you really like? Don’t worry; it’s possible that the lemon you like is not really a lost cause. Sometimes, a lemon is fine but wrongly labelled. No, I’m not talking about a lemon-lemon. A lemon is actually a car that has been deemed faulty and returned to the automaker. The automaker, after buying it back, gets it fixed and puts it back on sale. Now, what should you do if you find a lemon car? The best way to avoid buying a faulty car is to carry out extensive research on the car you want to buy. Given below are some tips that you should keep in mind to ensure that you don’t end up buying a Lemon car:
- Check if the car has been reliable throughout its past
The first thing you should do is to ask for the reliability record of the car you are interested in. Take a deep look into the Consumer Reports’ annual subscriber survey. The information you will get will help you narrow down your choices. Look into the recent survey for the best and the worst used cars. Moreover, don’t forget to check the reliability history charts of the vehicle.
- Check the history of the owner
When you check the history of the vehicle, see if the car has been bought back by the automaker. If yes, it is a sure sign that the car was faulty and the owner claimed it to be a lemon in a legal case, so it was bought back by the automaker. The owner history can also reveal if the second owner has experienced the issues and titled it lemon. This means the problems aren’t the obvious. For international cars, I suggest to check Car Fax and AutoCheck sites.
- Check the exterior and interior of the car
Take a walk around the lemon car. Check its external condition. Look for any dents, flaked paint, broken lamp housings, unequal body parts and damaged windows. Make sure the gaps between the panels are even and lined up. Check if there’s any body filer under the paint by moving a magnet over it. For any filler, the magnet won’t stick. Irregular welds on the doors, hood or trunk are an indication of a repair.
As for the interior of the car, scrutinize everything with care. Look for any missing knobs, handles or buttons. Check the condition of the dashboard, the roof and the seats. See if the seat belts are fine. Check the pedals and the carpeting. Any electrical problems might be a result of flooding. Make sure you take a deep look at everything.
- Contact a trustworthy mechanic and Make a pre-purchase inspection of the car
If you have followed the tips mentioned above and you think the problems can be handled or the car has been mistakenly labelled as lemon, ask for a pre-purchase inspection. Call a mechanic you trust and request him to take a look at the car you want to buy. As a person who fixes lots of cars daily, the mechanic is probably the best man to tell if the lemon is really a lemon. You might think that the lemon car with reoccurring problems should not be bought, but your mechanic will explain if the problems can be fixed permanently or not.
- Bargain on the price of the car
If the so-called reoccurring issue with the lemon car is just a window that gets stuck while opening or a small ticking sound of the engine you think you can live with, use the issues as your bargaining chip. Ask for a lower price on the basis of those “issues”, which the seller would most probably agree to. After all a lemon car is not easy to get rid of.