Purchasing a used car comes with risks, but all of those can be mitigated with sound inspection and identifying right away the defects you can live with and send out for repair. The risk of ending up with a so-called “lemon” happens when the buyer wasn’t able to spot hidden defects in the vehicle, and is then compelled to spend massive cash for repairs. Here are some tips in spotting a lemon.
Check the reliability record – Models with a good reliability record should always be on the top of any used car buyer’s list. Sites like Consumer Reports have an annual subscriber survey which details real-world reliability information of a specific car model in scrutiny.
Identify flood damage – Once a car has been submerged in floodwater, it is bound to experience further performance issues in the long run. One way to identify flood damage is by inspecting electrical connections for corrosion, or moldy upholstery. A funky cabin smell is also a tell-tale sign, as well as silt underneath the carpets.
Test-drive it on the freeway – Driving a used car fast is often the best way to listen for rattles, as well as identify unwanted gaps between doors and frames. However, buyers should always remember to drive fast in a safe way, or the car won’t be the only wreck at the end of the day.