Having issues with a new car? It may be a lemon

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Just because you are having mechanical issues with your car does not necessarily mean that it is a lemon. A lemon refers to a car that continues to have mechanical issues even after a “reasonable number” of repair attempts.

There is no set number of repair attempts used when defining what a “reasonable number” is. One guideline typically used is if the car continues to have the same issue after four repair attempts, it may be a lemon. Another indicator is if the car is in the garage for at least 30 days for an issue that is covered by the warranty.

The best way to guard against driving home with a lemon is to look for the warning signs while you are still in the sales lot. Here is what to look for during your next purchase.

Rear bumper

Suspension issues can be a major headache for car owners. Because these repairs can be expensive, it is important to make sure it is in working order before you make your purchase. If you push down on the bumper, it should feel bouncy. If the bumper is stiff and doesn’t feel like it is bouncing, it could be a sign of more serious suspension issues with the car.

Open the hood

Don’t be afraid to look under the hood of the car. Check for signs of corrosion to potentially spot any cracks or leaks. Look at the oil and ensure that there are no particles and that it has a rich brown or black color. If there strong smells coming from the hood after the test drive, that is also an indicator of a serious mechanical issue.

Drive at quicker speeds

During the test drive, it is a good idea to take the car out on a highway and drive at a faster speed. Driving more quickly will help you identify whether there are any steering or alignment issues with the car. When you’re on the highway, check that the steering wheel feels steady and is not rattling. If the car has a tendency to drift in one direction, the car may be misaligned.

Even the most diligent of car buyers can still fall victim to purchasing a lemon. If you’re having consistent mechanical issues with a car that is still under warranty, it may be time to take the necessary actions to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your troubles.

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