Are you worried that you may have bought a dud car, but aren’t entirely sure?
While buying a used car always comes with a certain amount of risk, there are actually laws that require automakers to refund your money should it be that the seller deceived you about the condition of the car.
But, how can you tell for sure if your car is a lemon?
Check out this “my car is a lemon” guide to discover the top signs that you bought a dud car.
Table of Contents
1. The Ad for the Car Was Poorly Written
When trying to figure out if the car you purchased was a lemon, go back and look at the ads.
Remember, a car ad, just like the car itself, should look reasonable and respectable. The ad should display all of the important information you need to know about the car at first glance, including the make, model, and year.
Ideally, the car ad also includes all of the important features of the vehicle, as well as why the vehicle is up for sale. Hopefully, you still have pictures of the ads somewhere on your phone.
Take a look at these ads and note their quality. If you notice that they’re of poor quality, there’s a chance that you could be driving a lemon.
2. The Tires Are Mismatched Or Worn Out
Mismatched or worn-out tires are another sign that the vehicle you bought is a dud.
A car’s tires should be one of the first things you look at when purchasing, as the tires can tell you a lot about how well the car has been maintained and taken care of over the years. Before you check for wear and tear, check to see if the tires are uniform.
In other words, all of the tires should be the same brand and the same size. If the tires aren’t identical, this means you’ll be dealing with mismatched tread, pattern, and construction. This leads to poor stability and vehicle control.
If the tires look worn out, it could be a sign that the previous owner put heavy wear and miles on the vehicle. If you notice that the tires are cupped, it could mean there’s a problem with the steering, suspension, or brakes.
3. Check Out the Exterior
Checking the exterior of the car can also help you determine whether or not you’ve bought a lemon.
Walk around the car and keep an eye out for chipped paint, dents, mismatched body panels, and rust. You’ll also want to look for chrome in the wheel wells or paint overspray on rubber trim. Oftentimes, these details are an indication that the car is a lemon, as it means the body panel was likely repaired at some point.
You’ll also want to check the doors and see if they have trouble closing. If they do, this means that the vehicle could pose a threat to your safety. As you’re looking at the doors, also check out the hood and trunk and look for inconsistent welds. Typically, this means repair work has been done.
4. Check Out the Interior
In addition to inspecting the exterior of your car, you also want to make sure you take a close look at the interior.
For starters, look at the seatbelts. If they’re damaged or frayed, this means that your safety is at risk and the car is likely a lemon. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to get in touch with a lemon law firm, such as Kimmel and Silverman.
You’ll also want to look for cracks, stains, or rips on the seats. If you notice any discolorations or stains, there’s a chance that the car previously suffered from flooding.
On the other hand, if you notice that the vehicle has completely new upholstery, this could mean that the previous owner was trying to cover up water damage.
You’ll also want to turn on the car and make sure the airbag warning light turns on. If it doesn’t, then this may indicate that the airbag has recently been deployed or that it was improperly replaced. If there’s an issue with the airbag, then the car is definitely a lemon.
5. Check Under the Hood
Checking under the hood can also help you determine whether or not the car is a lemon.
Start by looking at the engine, battery, and radiator. If they’re covered and grease and have a lot of corrosion, then it could mean that your car is a lemon.
You should also look at the belts to see if they’re overly worn. If they are, it could indicate trouble in the near future. You should also look for melted wires, tubes, lines, or black spots, as these could indicate that the engine is overheating.
You’ll also want to look for wet spots, as these could be a sign that there’s a leak somewhere. When looking at the engine, make sure that the fluids are properly filled and clean.
You should also take a look at the color and consistency of the engine’s oil. Healthy engine oil is black or brown. If the consistency of the oil is gelatinous or gritty, it could mean that the oil hasn’t been changed for a long time.
My Car is a Lemon: Time to Act
If you’re thinking to yourself “My car is a lemon” after reading this guide, then you need to call a lemon law attorney. A lemon law attorney can help you prepare the right paperwork to prove that your car is a lemon.
Also, make sure to check back in with our blog for more automotive news and tips.