Avoiding a Lemon

The Ohio Lemon law exists to protect car buyers from unknowingly purchasing a car that cannot be repaired and has a defect that could negatively impact performance or driver safety. Lemon laws are quite specific and, when applied to new automobiles, can help you get your car fixed (if this is possible) and, if not, receive a refund or replacement. However, some lemons still end up in the used car market and cause problems for future owners. There are ways to stop a lemon before you buy it and by knowing what to look for, you can save yourself time and frustration. Here are the signs the car you’re looking at may be a lemon.

Signs A Car Could Be a Lemon

  • Questionable or Absent Car History:a car has a history and much of it is recorded through repair and accident records. The seller should be able to inform you about major issues the car may have, accident history, or any natural disasters the car may have been through, such as flooding. A maintenance record can tell you a lot about normal upkeep, such as oil changes.
  • Interior Damage: depending on the age of the car you are buying, interior damage is normal due to daily use. However, large amounts of interior damage can be a sign a car wasn’t well cared for. Also look for unusual interior repairs, such as some of the seats being newer than others. This could be a sign extensive damage was repaired.
  • Too Good To Be True: sometimes a deal can be a red flag. If a car is being offered at a price that is well below market value, you should be cautious. Certainly, things happen and sometimes a seller needs to sell a car quickly for an assortment of reasons, but if the price is well below what the seller could realistically get, the car may be a lemon.
  • Low-Quality Bodywork: shoddy repairs and damage to the body can show a car has not been well cared for and any repairs were not professionally done. Look for any gaps between panels, paint chipping, visible rust, mismatches, or anything else concerning the car’s exterior that you consider out-of-place.
  • Hesitant Insurance Companies: insurance companies can refuse to cover a car due to the automobile having a bad history or, in some cases, a particular model being known for common issues that cannot be successfully fixed. If you’re looking at a car and insurance companies don’t want to insure it, there should be a warning that you take into consideration before buying.
  • The Ad Is Vague: most car ads are filled with details and hard figures. Common data includes MPG, how many miles it has on it, the transmission type, and other statistics and facts. A car ad that doesn’t really go into real detail or lacks pictures can be due to issues with the car.

Final Thoughts

Buying an automobile does require diligence and research. While Lemon Laws can help keep you safe, doing your best to avoid a lemon in the first place can save on waiting for repairs and going through the refund process.