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What to look for before buying a used vehicle

Used car buyers in California are urged to learn as much about a vehicle as possible before completing a transaction. This may prevent them from purchasing something that needs significant repairs or upgrades. A quick overview of the car itself could reveal clues about previous attempts to repair a dented frame. Paint that doesn't match the rest of the vehicle could also signal that repairs have been made in the past.

Engine oil should be clean and able to stay in the vehicle when it is driven. Dirty oil or signs of an oil or other fluid leaks may signal problems that could be costly to repair. Furthermore, there should be consistent oil pressure when the car is driven. To truly determine a car's condition, it should be driven for at least 15 minutes on highways and other main roads.

A rotten egg smell inside of the car could be a sign that there is an oil or gas leak present. A musty odor could indicate mold, which could mean that the car has experienced water damage in the past. If any dashboard lights remain on for more than a few seconds after turning the car on, it may have an issue that needs to be fixed. Ideally, a buyer will have a car inspected by a professional prior to buying it.

If a person experiences a financial loss because of a defective vehicle, it may be possible to be reimbursed for those losses. Used car owners might make lemon law claims if their cars have multiple defects that make it difficult or unsafe to drive them. An attorney may be able to review a case to determine if a claim can be made and to determine who may be liable for damages.

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