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A Lemon Car can outsmart you only if you let it

Adam J Krohn / Posted: 2011-02-06 12:00 am
A Lemon Car can outsmart you only if you let it With the fast depreciation of new vehicles, as a wise car buyer you might want to shop for a used car rather than a brand new one. If you are in the market for a new used car you need to know what to do to avoid buying a lemon or paying way too much for a vehicle. How to Find a Good Used Car
When it comes to used car shopping, limit your search to late-model vehicles with 
  • Low miles on the odometer
  • Warranty
  • Wear and tear issues

Dealer warranties routinely cover drive trains for 100,000 and sometimes even 200,000 miles.
Once you know that you are seeking a specific car with specific features, find a car that best fits your needs.How do you know if it is a good car? Follow these simple steps that will allow you to buy with confidence.Radiator The radiator will be clearly labeled.Unscrew the cap, and take a peek at the fluid inside. 
  • Green, Red (in some of the newer cars) or clear water is a good indicator
  • Muddy brown suggests that an additive has been added to the coolant to seal a leak in the radiator/water pump, or the vehicle has a blown head gasket

Oil level With the vehicle off, take the oil stick out and wipe it off with tissue.Dip it all the way back in the holder again. Take it out once more so that you can get a clear reading of the oil level according to the markings on the dipstick. Low oil levels of one quart or less below normal could indicate 
  • A valve cover leak which is usually a minor repair

More than a quart could indicate 
  • Other leaks
  • Poorly maintained Vehicle

Look for water in the oil. Water gives the oil a frothy cappuccino-like appearance
  • Suggest a blown head gasket which is a costly repair

Smell of the Oil Take the oil cap off and smell it. A strong burnt smell is consistent with an engine 
  • Failure
  • That has been run with no oil for long periods of time

Transmission Fluid 
  • Bright pinkish red colored fluid indicates a healthy or decently maintained transmission
  • Brownish red colored fluid suggests that it is possibly time for a fluid change
  • Straight brown fluid indicates poor maintenance on the transmission which will require immediate attention
  • Metal filings in the fluid indicates that the transmission is going out

Belts on the Engine If the belts on the engine appear to be frazzled, cracked, or worn – they require replacement. Engine Visually Inspect the Engine. Look at the engine for excessive oil which could imply an oil leak. Warm Up the Car. Allow the vehicle to warm up before you test drive it. Check the temperature gauge sitting inside the dash display behind the steering wheel. Make sure the temperature remains within normal temperature parameters as indicated by the temperature gage inside the dash. Extreme heat can indicate a 
  • Bad thermostat
  • Blocked or cracked radiator
  • Fluid loss from a hose
  • Some other component in the water system
  • Blown head gasket which cost around $1100 to repair

Tailpipe While the vehicle is warming up, check the tail pipe. Put your hand down by the exhaust. 
  • A static puffing discharge indicates potential engine problems
  • The exhaust should be clear when the car is warm
  • Excessive white smoke can suggest water and oil mixing together by a blown head gasket

It is important to stop often in order to get a good feel for the brakes. 
  • Pedal should be firm and stopping should feel normal
  • If there is a scraping or shuttering pedal there is probably damage to the brake shoes which will require immediate replacement
  • A scraping noise in the brakes suggests that the rotors need to be turned or replaced

Problems with the brakes is not a huge issue but it something to be aware of. When Turning the Wheel When turning the wheel listen for clicking sounds to indicate faulty axles/joints. 
  • Hard-turning steering wheels indicate problems with the power steering unit
  • A steering wheel that throbs indicates a contaminated fluid in the power steering reservoir

Release the Wheel While Driving It unmasks any alignment problem. 
  • If the vehicle begins to veer to the right or left, an alignment is needed
  • If the veer is extreme, it is possible that there are suspension problems that could prove to be costly

  • Make sure to check all lights and signals
  • Make sure the heat and air-conditioner are working
  • Try to roll down all windows, either by hand if their manual or by using the electric buttons
  • Lock and unlock all the doors

A problem with any of the features is not indicative of how the vehicle will drive but it is something to be aware of. Check the Body 
  • Make sure to look over the body for rust
  • Look carefully at the paint for surface bumps
  • Bumps underneath the paint could imply rust or bondo

Bondo is used to smooth the surface of a previously damaged body. Buying a car can be a rewarding experience when you are armed with knowledge. A vehicle is just a machine.It can only outsmart you if you let it. has effectively represented a number of clients in lemon car cases.In case, a lemon car has already outwitted you, you are not alone.Visit to fill the form for a free evaluation of your case.We will help you get a refund for the car and let you retain the car too depending on your state Lemon Law. 
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