Spot a Lemon

A Lemon on the Car Lot

You researched and decided to buy a second-hand vehicle.  For a better experience no lemons, the good folks at Light Truck and Auto offered some suggestions.

Do Your Homework

If you want a good second-hand vehicle, then do your homework.  Research the internet about the make, model and year of the car you want.  Internet research offers a good sense of:

  • Vehicle reliability—Negative reports about problems usually mean nothing. Put the comments into perspective as you read.
  • Safety or repair recalls—Check out the recalls through the factory. Find the place that repaired the vehicle, call and ask questions.

Definition of a Lemon

The official definition of a lemon:  “a manufacturer’s defect that can affect a vehicle’s safety, use, or value.”

In short, a lemon exhibits continued problems and may not be safe to drive.  The following cars were considered lemons:

  • Ford Bronco II—Rollover difficulties killed more than 70 people per year.
  • Pontiac Fiero—Fires crisped about 260 cars the first year of production.
  • Ford Pinto—The gas tanks blew up, killing more than 900 people.

Fortunately, car manufacturers build safer cars today.

The Second-Hand Car Lot

You read about the vehicles, and you visit a car lot.  Remember, if you accidentally purchase a lemon, then you can’t make lemonade from it. Therefore, follow these simple steps to keep from buying a lemon.

  1. Begin with an exterior inspection. Walk around, thoroughly investigating dents, dings, rust, and chipped paint.  Make sure the side panels sit straight.  Check the tires for wear, bubbles, and posture.
  2. Sit in the car and observe. Inspect the seats, dash, roof, and seatbelts.  Check for signs of poor workmanship from front to back.
  3. Look under the hood. Look for leaks and check the fluid levels.  Check the battery posts for corrosion or abuse.  Can you see worn or frayed parts under the hood?

Take a Test Drive

How does the car handle?  Does the car pull to one side or the other?  Apply the brakes to check for odd sounds or feel.  Listen carefully for unusual sounds.  Use the test drive as your opportunity to determine how the car handles and feels to you.

Check the History

Use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to check the vehicle history.  In Texas, search through VehicleHistory.com.  Also, look for the VIN at National Vehicle History Reports.

Independent Inspection

Take the vehicle to an independent, trusted mechanic.  A thorough inspection could be your best form of insurance.  It assures you that you did not choose a lemon. If you choose to buy a second-hand vehicle in Burkburnett, Texas, then take it to Light Truck and Auto.  They give the vehicle a once over safety check and look for possible problems.

Call Light Truck and Auto

Burke Light Truck and Auto, an auto repair shop in the Texoma area, services your vehicles and considers your safety.  Bring all of your vehicles to them for their trusted service.  Wayne and Perry, the owners, and their staff happily help you through any vehicle crisis.

Call Burke Light Truck and Auto at 940-569-9344.