Guide To Avoid Buying A Lemon Car

Bfore buying a used car read this guide to avoid buying a lemon.

When buying a new car, you can often profit by buying a slightly used car. However, if you're like most people, you're worried about getting a lemon. The best way to prevent this is to know a little basic car knowledge. By being informed, you know if the salesman is trying to rip you off or if you are truly getting a good deal. Below are some tips to buying a used car.

1. Wear old clothes, take notepad and a flashlight when you look over a car.

2. Ask to see the car title. Get the name and number of the previous owner. Call the owner and ask problems he had with the car. Write down the problems for your mechanic to check. Confirm the mileage with the owner.

3. Make sure the car hasn't been wrecked badly. Look for ripples in the metal or dull paint. Open and close all doors. (If a door has to be forced, the car has probably been wrecked.)

4. Check for rust. If you see small paint bubbles surrounding the molding around the bumpers, grill, wheel wells and windows, ask the seller to punch them through firmly with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver goes through the entire piece of metal, the rust is bad and the repairs will be costly. Check the bottoms and insides of the doors for rust.

5. Open the trunk. Look for rust and stains that will indicate leaks. Make sure the spare tire is serviceable and matches the other tires.

6. Look under the car and in the wheel. If the underside has been freshly coated, the seller is trying to hide something from you. There is no reason to undercoat but to hide rust.

7. Turn on the car and look at the muffler system. Make sure that fumes aren't escaping at any point along the system. You will have to replace the entire system if there are any holes larger then a pinpoint.

8. Run the engine and make sure blue smoke doesn't shoot from the exhaust.

9. Look under the hood with the engine and push the accelerator down gently. Listen for knocks and funny noises. Let the engine run for five minutes, then move the car. If there is a pool of liquid, you have problems.

10. Give the car's interior a good look. Check for stains or missing parts.

11. Apply strong pressure to the brake pedal for at least thirty seconds. If the pedal keeps going to the floor, you've got a brake leakage.

12. When the engine is idling, put your foot on the brake and slip the transmission from neutral to reserve and neutral to drive. A loud clunk means the transmission bands need tightening.

13. Test drive the car for thirty to forty-five minutes. Make sure the gears shift smoothly, the brakes don't make strange noises, and the steering wheel doesn't jerk and resist when you turn it. Turn the wheel sharply to make sure the car doesn't bounce or sway too much.

14. Check to see if the tires match and are worn evenly.

Doing these things will prevent you from discovering problems after purchasing the car, when it is too late.

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