Ever been at a cocktail party or car dealership and heard the word “lemon” used to describe a car? Wrench is here to explain what a lemon car really is and how to avoid them. Buying a car is a big deal and you do not want to get scammed by the dealership, regardless of if you are buying a new or used car. Check out the Wrench blog for advice on how to buy a car, what type of car is right for you, and how to take care of your car post-purchase. Wrench has also partnered with the premier Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection company: Lemon Squad. Before any of this happens, though, it is important to know what a lemon is so that you do not find yourself driving away with one. Use these Wrench tips to educate yourself on buying a car so that you are the most prepared to make an informed decision about which one is right for you.


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Check out Chris Jacobs sharing his experience with Lemon Squad!


What is a lemon?

  • A lemon is a name for a vehicle that has manufacturing issues that affect its safety, usability, or value.
  • You can tell that you have purchased a lemon if you experience a significant issue within a very short period of time of owning the car.
  • States have different definitions of what classifies a car as a lemon but most involve the vehicle’s safety, market value, and ability to be driven without issues.
  • A law was put in place in 1975 that required all vehicle warranties to be easily understandable and completely transparent to avoid consumers getting scammed when unknowingly purchasing defective vehicles.
  • Lemons can be either new or used cars, but can be more difficult to spot in used cars because there are often discrepancies in the vehicle history, so it is important to conduct thorough research when buying a used car. For more information on how to buy a used car, click here. You do have a higher chance of buying a used car that is a lemon because they have more history and less legal protection in most states.

How to avoid buying a lemon:

  • Inspect and test drive the car. Conduct a thorough inspection of the vehicle before you purchase it. Be on the lookout for any blemishes or damage to the exterior of the vehicle. Make sure that you feel safe and comfortable driving the car, especially if it is new, because this is critical to your safety. Do not buy a car without test driving it first, which is why it is a good idea to do a lot of research prior to purchase, especially during a global pandemic. Listen for any unusual sounds during the test drive, such as brake squealing, loud air rushing, or grinding noises. If the seller refuses to let you conduct a test drive, this is likely a red flag and they may be hiding something from you. On the test drive, it is a good idea to take it out on the road and not just around a parking lot, so you can test things like the acceleration speed, vehicle suspension, and the braking system.
  • Ask to see the title condition. If you are buying a used car, it is important to check the title to see if the car has been in any accidents. This is much easier to obtain today than it was in the past, so there is no reason you should not know about the vehicle’s history.
  • Get the car inspected prior to purchase. If you are serious about buying a particular used car, get it inspected by a Wrench mobile technician before you put any money down. Wrench used car inspections are a great way to find out if you are getting a good deal on a used car. The technician will tell you if there is anything seriously wrong with the vehicle and should be able to determine if the car should be classified as a lemon.
  • Check for window stickers. The Federal Trade Commission requires that every used car have a window sticker that means that the car has information regarding the prior owner’s, if there is a warranty still attached, and other important things to know. If there is no window sticker on the car, this can be a sign that the car is a lemon and should most likely be avoided. Additionally, watch out for cars that are being sold “as is.” This means that the seller does not have to take any responsibility for issues you may encounter with the car, leaving you to discover and repair any problems you may have. It is illegal in some states to sell cars “as is,” so it is probably in your best interest to avoid them in general
  • Avoid buying a car with lots of extra features. Some dealerships will try to sell you a car with an enhanced stereo or other fancy additions, and it is really important to check whether these features were installed by the manufacturer. If not, you could be signing up for significant mechanical issues in the future and the repairs may not be under the manufacturer warranty because they did not install them.

How to use our Used Car Inspection Services

It's no secret that Wrench offers the best mobile used car inspection services in town! In fact, we are so committed to improving our used car inspection services that we acquired a car inspection company called Lemon Squad. Lemon Squad is dedicated to preventing you from purchasing a lemon, so don't hesitate to utilize our partnership with Lemon Squad. To learn more about our used car inspection professionals at Lemon Squad, click here.

Now you should be able to toss around the phrase “lemon car” at cocktail parties at ease! Even better, hopefully you will never be burdened with a lemon and no way to get out of it. At Wrench, we want our customers to feel safe and happy with the car they drive. As much as we love working on your cars, we hope that we do not have to see you once a month for a lemon-related issue, but we are always here to help. If you have further questions about our services or using Wrench during a global pandemic, feel free to talk to our customer service team through email, at hello@wrench.com, or by phone, at 844-997-3624.

Want to know more about Lemon Squad and how we work? Watch our YouTube Video to learn more!


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