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Putting a slice of lemon in your drink has loads of health benefits. Apart from promoting hydration, it’s also a good source of Vitamin C, which helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. When it comes to vehicles, however, “lemon” has a completely different meaning and is something to be avoided. The term “lemon” relates to vehicles with substandard quality or have sustained extensive (and practically irreversible) damage.

When buying a car, particularly one of those used cars you see advertised by private sellers, make sure to keep an eye out for the lemons. The last thing you want is to pay top dollar for a inferior car. Here are some signs you need to watch out for during the inspection.

Worn Down Tires

It’s normal to see wear and tear on your tires, as your vehicle is exposed to all sorts of elements on the road. What’s not normal is wear and tear occurring on only one side of each tire. This means the tires have not been rotated for a while. Severe wear and tear can expedite the damage to your tires, causing them to blow out when least expected.

Strange Smells Coming from Under the Hood

A strong odor coming from the engine or the tailpipe is a sign that a fluid is leaking or burning. Look under the hood for the source and find out whether it can still be fixed. If the damage seems irreversible, then it’s very likely that the involved components have to be replaced right away. Unless you are willing to fork out more cash than how much the vehicle costs, you should reconsider your plan to buy that vehicle.

Doors Not Opening or Closing Freely

Try to get inside the vehicle. Feel the movement of the door as it pivots from one end. Does it feel a little bit stiff? Does it seem like something is stuck along the track and you need to pull the door more than once to close it completely? These signs are not to be ignored as they could indicate that a more serious problem is about to emerge as you proceed with the inspection. Perhaps the vehicle has been involved in a major accident that affected the alignment of most of its components.

Dirty Oil

Oil serves as lubricant to the engine. It ensures all components are moving at an efficient rate and not wearing down as they slide against each other. A sign of a poorly maintained engine is low oil content, or worse dirty oil. If you find dark material on the dip stick when checking the car’s oil, it could mean the engine is in trouble or has been for a long time.

Don’t wait for the seller to justify these obvious issues on the used car. Say no before you fall into their trap. If you really want to avoid the risk of buying a lemon car, why not turn to a transparent car dealership, such as Driven Cars Canada in Ontario. Most car dealerships specializing in used cars follow strict regulations when certifying the quality of their portfolio, so you have a better chance at finding a high-quality vehicle

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