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How to Determine If a Used Vehicle Has Aftermarket Parts

Used Vehicles with Aftermarket Parts in San Diego, CA

Replacement parts manufactured by another company apart from the original vehicle manufacturer are known as aftermarket parts, also called competitive replacement parts, generic parts, or non-OEM parts. You can perform the following checks to determine if aftermarket parts have been used when repairing a used car.

Find Out the Insurance Company’s Policy

Used vehicles from insurance companies, usually sold at an auction, are often cheaper compared to other secondhand car dealers. Insurance companies sell cars that have been repaired either after a major or minor accident. Usually, buying original parts from the manufacturer costs more compared to purchasing aftermarket spare parts. As insurance companies are in the market to make a profit, they typically go for aftermarket spare parts. When buying a car an insurance company is selling at an auction, check the company’s policy and inquire about the kind of spare parts they used.

Ask the Previous Owner

Knowing whether a used car has aftermarket parts can be difficult for an ordinary person to identify by just observing the equipment. Most car equipment is almost the same, and you may not know if it comes from an original manufacturer unless you have a professional inspector look at your car. However, some back history of the vehicle can help you determine if the car has aftermarket parts or not. If you purchased the vehicle directly from the previous owner, you can ask if he or she replaced worn out parts with original parts or with aftermarket parts.

Get a Professional Car Inspection

Used car dealers may not openly admit they have fixed a vehicle with aftermarket parts since they want to impress buyers and make a sale quickly. It’s up to you to get an inspector to access the vehicle and find out if it has non-OEM parts. Hiring a professional technician to perform a used car inspection can help you identify aftermarket parts on the car, though some parts can be difficult to verify. Some of the spare parts could be counterfeits disguised as original parts from the car manufacturer. As a buyer with no experience with original spare parts, you might fail to recognize aftermarket spare parts installed in secondhand cars.

Test the Car’s Engine Performance

Changing the entire car engine or some parts of the engine can affect a car’s performance. Before buying a used car, take a test drive to gauge the performance of the vehicle. After a test drive, you may be able to tell if aftermarket spare parts have altered the engine’s performance.

If you want to find out if a used vehicle you’re interested in has been repaired with aftermarket equipment, or if you’re concerned about other issues with the car, make sure to get a professional auto inspection from Lemon Squad. We’ll send one of our reliable technicians to the vehicle to check for a variety of potential problems. Give us a call today at 888-231-7965.

6 Fluids That Might Be Leaking from a Used Car

6 Fluids That Can Leak from a Used Vehicle in San Diego, CA

If you’ve bought a used car, the last thing you want to see is a leak. Some leaks are more problematic than others, which makes it important to get a car inspection before buying a used vehicle. Below are six different fluids you might see leaking from a used car.

1. Water

If something clear is coming out of a car, there’s a good chance it’s just water, especially if the AC has been running. If the AC hasn’t been running, you’ll want to check by scent or feel to determine whether the offending liquid is water or not.

2. Oil

If the liquid coming out of your car is black, it’s probably engine oil. In most cases, you can fill your car back up with oil and take care of the leak as soon as it’s convenient. However, frequent oil leakage can be a sign of a much bigger problem. If you notice oil is leaking frequently, take your car to a trusted mechanic.

3. Coolant

Green coolant leakage isn’t terribly uncommon in used cars. Like an oil leak, this is something you can probably fix temporarily by filling up the coolant while you’re out. Keep an eye on this type of leak, as a major leak could lead to larger problems for your car. The best-case scenario is a crack in the coolant reservoir, while the worst is a radiator problem.

4. Transmission Fluid

Red liquid is almost always transmission fluid. You’ll need to get this leak checked out immediately unless you’re familiar with working on an auto transmission. You may just have a leaky pan, but you might also have a more serious transmission problem. The quicker you get it fixed, the less it’s going to cost you.

5. Brake Fluid

Brake fluid leakage is hard to diagnose by color. It can range from brown to clear, but you’ll almost always find it near the tires or directly under the brake pedal. Brake fluid leakage isn’t terribly common in newer cars, but it does happen in older vehicles. This is another issue you need to get checked out quickly, as leaking brake fluid can lead to a drop in the hydraulic pressure of the brakes, which can cause brake failure.

6. Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid ranges in color from orange to light brown, and it’s usually thin. You might mistake it at first glance for brake fluid or oil, but the viscosity will give it away. Leaky power steering fluid can indicate a major issue with the power steering, which is something that needs to be fixed quickly. Power steering repairs can be costly. Having to replace the system could cost much more than the average used car is worth.

You can avoid the issues that accompany these types of leaks by getting an auto inspection before buying a used vehicle you’re interested in. Lemon Squad can send out a technician to check out the car you want to buy, anywhere in the U.S. Give us a call today at 1-888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment.

5 Things to Look for When Searching for Used Vehicles on eBay

Buying a Car on Ebay with Lemon Squad

Buying a car on eBay can be an exciting yet anxiety-inducing process. When buying a used car on eBay motors, you have no idea what the car truly looks like or how it runs, and your knowledge is based off of trust between the seller and yourself. There are a few things you should be on the lookout for to ensure you’re getting a good deal for your money.

1. No-Reserve Auctions

Vehicles with reserves usually have them set at a price close to the book value of the car. If you’re looking for a good deal, cars with reserves are probably not the best option. Instead, look for vehicles that don’t have a reserve set. However, it’s best to participate in both types of auctions to increase your odds of winning the vehicle you want.

2. Vehicle Purchase Protection

Look for vehicles covered by eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection, which ensures you receive your money back in the event you are a victim of fraud. However, there are terms vehicles need to meet to be eligible, so not all vehicles are offered with this protection. All of your transactions will need to take place on eBay to receive any type of purchase protection.

3. Inspection

Since it may be difficult for you to inspect the car yourself, and you shouldn’t trust the seller to do the inspection for you, it would be best to contact a used car inspection service in the area the car is being sold in. An auto inspection service will send someone out to inspect the car and report back to you on its condition.

4. Vehicle History

Always research a vehicle’s history to get the full picture of what it has been through. Once you have the vehicle identification number (VIN), invest in an online vehicle history report to get data on things such as how many owners the car has had and its service history.

5. Delivery Costs

Though delivery costs have nothing to do with the actual car you’re purchasing on eBay, it’s best to assess how much it will cost to ship the car to you prior to bidding on it. The location of the vehicle will influence these costs in addition to the type of delivery you would like. It may be possible to negotiate with the buyer on delivery costs.

If you’ve found the vehicle you’re looking for on eBay or in person, make sure to get it inspected by professional auto inspection experts. Get in touch with Lemon Squad today, and we’ll set up a date and time to send out one of our trusted inspectors. Call 1-888-231-7965.

How to Negotiate If You’re Buying a Used Vehicle

Buying Used Cars in Lemon Squad

Most people are a bit intimidated when it comes to purchasing a used car. They worry they’ll be talked into a car or a price they don’t want or they’ll make some mistake that will end up costing them a lot of money in the long run. These worries are especially an issue with people who aren’t necessarily automotive experts and who feel it might be easy for a seller to take advantage of them. Here is a list of suggestions that can help you negotiate when you’re buying your next used car.

Do Your Research 

The internet is filled with information about whatever vehicle you’re interested in purchasing. You’ll be able to find average sale prices, plusses and minuses of the vehicle written by actual owners, maintenance issues to watch out for, and little quirks you might not notice until after you’ve purchased the vehicle. Armed with this information, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what a fair price is for the vehicle as well as any potential problems you need to get examined. You’re a lot less likely to get talked into something you don’t want when you come to the dealer prepared.

Get the Vehicle Inspected

You wouldn’t buy a house without getting it inspected first, so why should you purchase a car without having someone look at it? Inspectors have mobile diagnostic tools they can use to examine the vehicle on the dealer’s lot. These tests can highlight major concerns such as costly engine and transmission issues. The peace of mind of opting for a used car inspection is well worth the money you’ll spend. If a dealer won’t let you bring in a car inspector before you sign the papers, consider it a red flag they might be hiding something.

Don’t Get Talked into Extras You Don’t Need 

Dealers make money a couple of different ways. The most obvious way is by selling the car for more money than they paid. They can also make money on the financing of the vehicle. However, dealers can also make a lot of profit on all of the add-ons, including extended warranties and rust protection. Don’t get talked into things you don’t need.

Get the CarFax 

One of the biggest changes in recent years for the used car industry is the rise of CarFax. With a VIN number and $35, you can obtain the entire ownership history of any car. You’ll know if it was originally a rental vehicle or whether it was owned by one person. If you’re purchasing your vehicle from a dealer, they might provide you with the CarFax report for free. Even if you end up paying for it, the information will give you a better sense of what the vehicle is worth and any issues the dealer might have forgotten to mention.

If you’re interested in a used vehicle and need an auto inspection, get in touch with Lemon Squad, the leading nationwide used car inspectors. From exotic cars to RVs, we can provide a detailed inspection on the vehicle you’re thinking about purchasing. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-231-7965 today.

Is It a Good Idea to Purchase a Used Vehicle?

Is Buying a Used Car a Good Idea?

Buying a used car can be an effective way to acquire reliable transportation at an affordable cost. In many cases, used cars come with whatever portion of the manufacturer warranty remains when they are purchased. A dealer may also offer its own warranty or guarantee to help you get the most for your money. Here are a few reasons buying a used car might be a good idea.

Used Cars Aren’t Necessarily Old Cars 

The difference between a new car and a used car is how it is titled. Technically, a car is considered used after it is first driven off the dealer lot by its first owner, which means you can acquire a vehicle that is only weeks or months old on the day you buy it. If you do decide to buy a used car, make sure to ask for a car history report to ensure damage or a defect wasn’t the reason it was returned to a dealer. You’ll also want to get a used car inspection.

Used Cars Almost Always Cost Less 

When a car leaves the dealer lot for the first time, it can lose up to 20 percent of its value. Therefore, you can almost always get a used car for less than what you would pay for a brand new one. This is generally true even if the vehicle was made during the current model year. Having the chance to save thousands of dollars on a vehicle with its original warranty can make buying a used car the smart choice compared to buying new.

Buying Used Can Be Better Than Leasing 

As the cost of buying new cars continues to increase, some have chosen to lease new cars instead of buying either new or used vehicles. However, leasing can be problematic if you drive a lot or use your vehicle to haul instruments, sporting equipment, or other large objects. Typically, leased vehicles can be driven 10,000 miles a year, and leasing companies often charge up to 25 cents per mile once the mileage limit is surpassed. Buying a used car gives you the freedom to use the vehicle as you see fit without the need to pay the full retail price.

Lower Prices Require Borrowing Less Money 

One of the benefits of paying less for a used car is that you don’t have to borrow as much to finance the purchase. You can potentially pay off the loan in three years as opposed to five or seven years, which means less interest paid to a lender. If you have questionable credit, it may be easier to get a loan for a less expensive vehicle. Repaying a car loan on time can help you rebuild your credit without putting too much of a burden on your finances.

When you’ve found the perfect used vehicle to purchase, get in touch with Lemon Squad to schedule an auto inspection. We’ll find out if anything is wrong with the car that might make you decide against buying it, or ensure it’s in good shape so you can purchase it with peace of mind. Call 1-888-231-7965 today to schedule an appointment.

7 Things That Might Be Wrong with a Used Automobile

7 Things That Could Be Wrong with a Used Vehicle in Lemon Squad

Shopping for a used vehicle can be a difficult process, filled with uncertainty about whether you’ve made the best decision on a purchase. It is important to inform yourself on what to look out for as far as issues you might encounter while looking at and test driving a vehicle. To alleviate some of the stress deciding on whether to make a purchase or not, here is a list of 7 issues you are likely to come across when having a car inspection performed on a used vehicle.

1. Gearbox

The gearbox is one of the most expensive systems in a vehicle to have work done on, so it’s important to be aware of common problems.

What to look for:

  • Transmission fluid leaks
  • Slipping gears
  • Difficulty shifting

2. Clutch

Issues with the clutch are especially common in areas where a lot of city driving is done.

What to look for:

  • A burning smell
  • A soft or spongy feeling while depressing the clutch
  • Shaking while shifting

3. Brakes

Issues with a vehicle’s brakes are common, and it’s important they are addressed as soon as possible to prevent a possible safety concern.

What to look for:

  • Shaking while braking
  • Soft or slow responding brake pedal
  • Vehicle moving to the side when applying the brake pedal

4. Electrical System

Though issues with the electrical system in a vehicle are fairly common, they can be quite difficult to pinpoint.

What to look for:

  • Engine slow or unable to start
  • Corrosion buildup on the battery terminal or cables
  • Lights don’t work at all or are dim

5. Rust

Rust often occurs in older vehicles. When left untreated, it can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an area where the roads are salted in the winter, the risk of rust damage doubles.

Where to look:

  • Frame rails
  • Wheel wells
  • Exhaust system

6. Leaking Fluids

Fluid leaks are a common occurrence with used vehicles. There are many fluids running through the different systems of a vehicle, and it’s important to identify the source of a leak to get an idea of the seriousness of the issue.

What to look for:

  • Brown or black fluid – When located toward the front of a vehicle, it indicates a potential engine issue.
  • Red or brown fluid – If located toward the middle of the vehicle, this can indicate an issue with the transmission. If toward the front, it is likely an issue with the power steering
  • Slimy green or yellow fluid – This is likely due to a coolant leak.

7.Alternator

If you’ve already ruled out the battery as the cause of an electrical issue, the alternator is the likely culprit. On most newer vehicles there is an indicator light that will let you know if there is an issue with the alternator.

What to look for:

  • Dim lights
  • Other electrical systems only working intermittently
  • Noises similar to a growl or a whine

If you are interested in a used vehicle and need an auto inspection before buying it, get in touch with the used vehicle inspection experts at Lemon Squad. We have the best turnaround time in the industry and can send an inspector to you. Call 1-888-231-7965 today.