I’ll make sure that the house you buy isn’t a lemon, but how do your protect yourself from buying a car that is one? Two main bits of advice here: One, use my second favorite magazine, CONSUMER REPORTS, to do your research. They review new cars as well as pre-owned, so save yourself a few grand and buy a copy of spend 30 minutes in the library. Second, take it to a trusted mechanic. Again, I can help you out on that one! Taking it to a mechanic (if it is used) is a sure fire way to ensure you don’t miss something important. You will be paying your mechanic for their time, so below are some things to do before you take it to him/her.
Look where their shouldn’t be paint. If you notice paint in the wheel wells, on the rubber trim by the windows or other places it shouldn’t be; your car was repainted and most likely in a wreck. Does the paint on the right side of the car match the paint on the right? Check for gaps between body panels. If the gaps are uneven, you probably are buying a repair job. If sections under the hood are cleaner than others, they may be hiding a leak by cleaning certain sections. Check the odometer v. the wear on the interior. If the wear is much worse than should be for the miles, you may be buying a car with hidden miles. Check out any warranties offered and make sure they cover more than just an entire engine shut down.
After you have done your homework and you think you have a good one, don’t be dumb and think you are instantly a mechanic. Take it to them and have them check it out. Like a used home, there will be things wrong, best to go in eyes wide open! Thanks for reading!