Seeking a Used Car? Here's How to Avoid Buying a Lemon!

Are you in the market for a used car but are afraid of ending up with an automotive headache? You will be pleased to discover that your search does not rely on luck! With a little bit of research and investigation, there is plenty that you can do to avoid purchasing a car with hidden problems.

Keep this advice in mind when shopping for a used car:

  1. Check the vehicle’s exterior. Look around for details that reveal that the car has received bodywork, such as chipped paint, dents, mismatched body panels, chipped windows, and broken lamp housings. If the trunk, hood, or a door doesn’t close properly, this could also indicate previous damage. Steer clear of a vehicle that appears to have received sloppy repair work.
  2. Check the vehicle’s interior. Inspect the cabin for things like dashboard cracks, missing buttons or knobs, sagging headliner, or frayed seatbelts, which may indicate that the vehicle has been in an accident. A sagging driver’s seat or prematurely worn pedals may indicate that the car has very high mileage. Past flood damage may be evident in stained carpeting, intermittent electrical problems, and a mildew smell.
  3. Check the reliability record. Consumer Reports puts out an annual survey on the best and worst used cars. Check this survey before you commit to buying a car to see which makes and models are the most reliable.
  4. Check the vehicle’s history. A vehicle history report from Experian Automotive of Carfax can tell you a lot about the vehicle you are considering purchasing, including whether it has had any past flood, fire, or accident damages, whether a salvage title has ever been issued for the vehicle, etc. It may even alert you to possible odometer fraud.
  5. Have the vehicle inspected. Before you purchase a used car, be sure to take it to a trusted mechanic for a diagnostic. The mechanic can check the vehicle for any potential sources of problems and evidence of past repair work.

If you have purchased an unreliable used car in California, you may be entitled to a buyback or replacement under Lemon Law. To learn more about your rights, we encourage you to contact a Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Norman Taylor & Associates. In as little as five minutes, we can review your claim and discuss your options at no cost to you. We have been protecting Southern California consumers for more than 50 collective years and have recovered more than $120 million for owners and lessees of defective vehicles.

Call today to speak with an attorney: (818) 244-3905.

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