Buying a car will probably be one of the most significant expenses you will make next to a house. Especially for used cars, it can be particularly tough to look for dealerships that sell reliable vehicles. The last thing you want is purchasing a vehicle that’s a lemon, which means that the car has hidden manufacturing defects that could affect safety, utility, and value. Here are some tips that can help you avoid buying a lemon:
1. Check the track record and reputation of the car dealership.
Most car dealerships in Rochester NY have reviews available online. One of the ways to reduce your risk of buying a lemon is to get car dealerships with a good reputation. You can check the records up online for the reliability of car dealerships. Take note of customer reviews and see if there is a recurring pattern of negative feedback regarding the dealership’s offers or services. On top of that, you may also ask your friends and family who have had experience with car dealerships to get advice, referrals, and reviews from them.
2. Check the history of the vehicle.
On the other hand, if you already have a model in mind, you can also research on the list of best or worse used cars. Historical profiles on vehicle reports are also available online for you to examine. Websites such as Carfax, Autocheck, and Vision Nissan Greece can provide you with vehicle history reports.
Another thing to check is if any recalls were issued on the particular model you’re eyeing to buy. You can find a list of vehicles that have been recalled online, and if the model you want is one of them, you might want to consider a different one just to be on the safe side.
3. Carefully inspect the exteriors and interiors.
The appearance of a used car can also give you an idea of its quality. A long and careful look at the exteriors and interiors of the vehicle can give you signs whether or not the vehicle is a lemon. For the exteriors, here are things to look out for:
- Mismatched parts and body panels
- Chipped paint
- Broken lamps
- Chipped windows
- Gaps in body panels
- Paint overspray
- Rubber trim
- Door, trunk, and hood (if they close fully)
For the interiors, here are things to watch out for:
- Sagging headliner
- Missing knobs
- Missing handles
- Missing buttons
- Frayed seat belts
- Cracked dashboards
- Worn-out pedals
- Discolored carpeting
- Mildew smell
Carefully inspect the vehicle for the items listed above. These are tell-tale signs that a car is a lemon, and that you should avoid buying it.
4. Go for a test drive.
One of the most effective ways to spot a lemon is to test drive the car. When you begin test driving, you will be able to find out the quality of the engine. Try driving at different speeds and under different conditions to see how the vehicle responds. Test driving can help you avoid buying cars that have a defect since it will most likely reveal itself during the test drive.
5. Visit a trusted mechanic and have them check the car.
Before making a solid decision, you might want to bring the car to a trusted mechanic. Being experienced in looking at several kinds of cars, they might spot problems that you probably missed out. Having a trained and professional eye, mechanics can inspect your vehicle more thoroughly. If you do not know someone, ask your friends and family for a reliable mechanic who can help you examine the vehicle you wish to purchase.
6. Purchase a car with a warranty.
If you are buying a new car, it will most probably have its own warranty in place that will cover defects in the vehicle’s workmanship. However, most used cars do not offer warranties and are sold on an “as-is” basis. It’s best not to deal with car dealerships who cannot or refuse to provide a warranty because that might mean the car dealer does not trust that the vehicle is in good shape.
Make sure that the car you get has a warranty that covers manufacturing defects. Just to be safe, have your car dealer sign a document certifying the coverage and duration of the vehicle’s warranty.
It’s an inevitable fact that there will be a lot of lemons out there in the market, but a good car dealership will avoid selling that to their customers. By following these tips, you can avoid buying a lemon and have a pleasant car shopping experience.