Prevailing Through Endurance

What should I look for when purchasing a used vehicle?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2023 | Lemon Law Vehicles

Many drivers buy used cars because they either cannot afford a new one at the moment, or they just want to save money. With that said, it isn’t wise to go with a vehicle that sounds like a bargain without checking it out first.

As the old saying goes, “If it’s too good to be true, then it is.” Look for these attributes (or lack of them) to avoid getting ripped off.

Vehicle history report

A vehicle history report shows its accident history, mileage, title status and other details. You need to obtain a car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) to begin your search.

Tire condition

The tread on all four tires should have even wear. If there’s extra tread or uneven wear on the tires, driving will be difficult and risky because you’ll inadvertently pull the car left or right while driving.


A bit of wear and a few scratches are normal. However, if the car you’re inspecting has major dents or half of it is rusty, it’s a vehicle you need to walk away from.


Since it’s a used vehicle, you shouldn’t expect that “new car smell.” But there shouldn’t be a rotten smell, either. Musty, stinky smells may be the result of flood damage.

Under the hood

Open the hood and check the engine for leaks, cracked hoses/belts and signs of corrosion. In addition, inspect the oil and transmission fluid. (Oil should be light brown; transmission red or pink.)

It’s essential to check a used vehicle to protect yourself from deception. If you or someone close to you lost money due to a so-called bargain deal at an auto dealership, consider seeking legal guidance for assistance.