You need a new car and fast. Your old one broke down on you, leaving you with no way to get to work. You have a friend take you to a dealership where you fall in love with one of the first cars the seller shows you
A few months down the line, you experience a car breakdown. This is a huge red flag that the vehicle you bought might be a lemon.
It’s a good idea to find out for sure if the car is irreparable before you junk it. We have a full lemon checklist that you can run through. Keep reading to learn more.
When you go shopping for cars, it’s a good idea to use more than your eyes to inspect them. You need to take a big whiff when you enter the vehicle. Bad BO and cigarette smoke don’t always point to a faulty car.
If it smells like something is burning when you start up the engine, that is a problem. This could indicate a leak or some other expensive issue.
You would think that that this problem would be obvious, but many people don’t notice it until they’ve been driving the vehicle around for a while.
The Steering is Off
There’s a reason why you should always take a car for a test drive before you commit to a purchase. Steering problems can lead to an accident or worse.
If you have to put in a lot of effort to keep the car going straight or make a turn, the wheel might be on its last legs.
When you have your car breakdown, think back to the ad. Was it full of nothing but good things about the car? If so, that’s a little bit fishy.
Most dealership advertisements do have a list of features that almost anyone would want in a vehicle, but they also highlight any car problems you might have to deal with. If you want to find out for sure if you’ve been duped, some websites will allow you to look up a car’s complete accident history.
The Warranty Seems Fishy
Most used cars don’t come with a warranty, but you might get lucky. If you start experiencing car issues, break out the paperwork and go over it with a fine-tooth comb.
Some dealerships will sell a car for cheap and give you a warranty that isn’t worth the paper that it’s written on. If this sounds like the arrangement you had, you most likely bought a lemon.
Look at the Tires
The next step is to look at your tires. If they appear to be worn, chances are the vehicle has been through a lot. You should also check to see if the tires are cupped before you take it down the road much further.
This is a sign that the vehicle has suspension malfunctions, brake issues, or steering problems. All things that can pose a danger to you while you’re driving.
In some cases, lemon cars are sold with mismatched tires. The dealership you went to couldn’t afford to buy the entire matching set, so they threw some on it and called it a day.
A faulty suspension is one of the most expensive issues that you can have. That’s why some less than reputable dealerships won’t get it fixed before they sell the vehicle to you.
That means you’ll have no choice but to get the work done yourself. The car won’t function the way it should otherwise. To check if this is your issue, press down on the bumper a few times.
If it bounces, you’re good to go. If it refuses to move, you most likely purchased a lemon car.
Repairing Isn’t Doing the Trick
Have you taken your vehicle in for emergency car repair more times than you can count? If your answer is yes, and the issues can’t be handled, there’s a good chance that the repair shop can do nothing for you.
The only thing you can do is junk it and use the money you get to put toward a new car.
The Paint Colors Aren’t Even
This one isn’t as easy to see as you may think. The colors will be almost identical, so you’ll have to look closely. If you see any slight differences, your car might have been in a wreck or two at some point.
The dealership will have these imperfections painted over because they can’t afford to get the damage fixed. The problem is that it’s hard to find the same color paint.
Faulty Windows and Locks
The last step is to check your power locks and windows. If your windows don’t roll down or only roll down halfway, that could indicate that you have some electrical problems.
Like with the suspension, having the wiring fixed in a vehicle isn’t cheap or easy. Many dealerships won’t want to get the problem fixed before putting the car on the market.
Your Car Breakdown Might Mean It’s a Lemon
Have you experienced a car breakdown a few months after driving your vehicle out of a dealership? This is a huge sign that you bought a lemon. Many car issues are expensive to fix.
Some dealerships will leave it up to you to handle and sell you the car knowing that it’s a clunker. That’s why it’s so important to stay on your toes. If you don’t, you may end up dealing with some of the problems that you’ve read about here.
Want to have better luck when you buy your next car? Check out our blog to find out more about what you should be looking for in a vehicle.