Signs a Car Is a Lemon

Signs a Car is a Lemon

Most used cars today can provide years of quality performance, but there is a chance that you may run into a lemon during your search.

In the automotive industry, a lemon is a car that has a problem that’s covered by a warranty. Typically, a vehicle is deemed a lemon after multiple failed attempts to fix the issue. A lemon can also mean a used car with excessive severe damage and defects.

If you end up buying one of these vehicles, you may experience serious performance problems and even safety issues when you’re behind the wheel. To help you avoid a lemon, the Val-U-Line® team is here to help!

Check out all the signs that indicate a car is a lemon below.

Lemon Listed in the Vehicle History Report

Vehicle History Report

To avoid buying a lemon, you’ll want to check the vehicle history report. A vehicle history report is your guide to a car’s life. Overall, it helps you see if the car is dependable enough for you.

With a vehicle history report, you’ll have access to tons of information, including maintenance and accident records, the number of previous owners, and the mileage. It’ll also state if the car you’re considering has been branded a lemon.

Extensive Signs of Body Work

Cars can go through quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. They can even sustain damage from an accident. However, even if a vehicle has been in a collision, it can still be a dependable, quality ride as long as it’s been repaired properly.

When a vehicle gets body work after an accident, the repairs and new parts should blend in seamlessly with the overall design. The panels should be aligned and everything should be painted to match the car’s color.

If there are gaps between the panels, mismatched parts, or a different shade of color used for paint, you could be looking at a lemon.

Worn or Damaged Parts Under the Hood

Battery Corrosion

Just as you would with the interior and exterior of a used car, make sure you’re taking the time to take a peek under the hood to ensure you’re not buying a lemon. Typically, you’ll want to check the main performance components, including the engine and brakes, for excessive wear or damage, so you’re getting a car that can perform at its best.

It's also important to keep an eye on the fluid levels. If the transmission fluid, brake fluid, oil, or coolant are too low, it could be a sign that there’s a leak within the system. Furthermore, if you notice a bit of corrosion on the battery, it may indicate that the part is old and needs to be replaced.

Mismatched or Excessively Worn Tires

Tires are another thing you should add to your inspection list. The tires are some of the most important parts of any vehicle. They play a role in how it handles and helps ensure a safe and stable ride. If they look like they’re deteriorating or if the treads are uneven, it could mean that the vehicle didn’t get the rotations or alignments it needed throughout its life.

Also, take some time to check each tire to make sure they all match. Mismatched tires can often lead to less stability and control when you’re driving. Plus, it usually means that the car wasn’t repaired properly in the past.

Worn Tires

How to Avoid Buying a Lemon

Checking the vehicle history report as well as the overall condition of a used car can definitely keep you from getting behind the wheel of a lemon. However, the best way to avoid buying one is to shop at a dealership, like Val-U-Line®.

At our nationwide used car dealers, we take the time to check each vehicle to make sure you’re getting a safe and dependable ride. Each model on our lots goes through a 360-point inspection to ensure they meet our high safety and quality standards. They all also come with state inspections and a CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ for further peace of mind.

So, if you’re looking to get behind the wheel of a reliable and time-tested used car, check out our massive selection of vehicles and schedule your test drive today!