8am-5pm (CST M-F)

(888) 231-7965

Lemon Of The Week

The winner of last week’s poll is… car number 2, the 1966 Cadillac Eldorado. 

Each week, Lemon Squad is taking a poll from their Instagram story, giving followers a choice between two cars we have previously completed inspections on. Once users have taken their vote, we tally up the results to reveal which car has been dubbed the “biggest lemon” Then we dive a little deeper into the winning Lemon’s inspection report and reveal all the juicy details! 

This week, the biggest lemon is this 1966 Cadillac Eldorado. At first glance, the car looks to be in beautiful shape. Based on the images, this vintage car looks like a rare find in exceptional condition. However, thanks to the mobile pre-purchase inspection that the potential buyer requested, some dark secrets about this vehicle were revealed.

The inspector was unable to locate a VIN plate on the vehicle. The VIN allows individuals a deeper look into the car’s history and is an identifier for that specific car, similar to a fingerprint, as no VIN is the same. 

As the inspector began to delve into the vehicle’s actual condition, many more red flags were raised. The exterior of the vehicle, although seemingly perfect within the images of the car, had quite a few issues. The windshield wiper blades and windshield washer did not operate, and there were apparent chips on the glass of the windshield. The exterior lights of the vehicle were inoperable. The hood and trunks of the car were misaligned. Scratches were found on the vehicle’s trunk, right panel, and right fender. The paint was chipped on the hood and right fender, and fish eyes and paint bubbles were apparent on the rear. The seals on the rear windows showed dry rot. Rust was evident on the vehicle’s undercarriage, and the frame appeared to have been repaired. The inspector noted an oil leak at the front of the engine and intake manifold; however, the severity of the leak was undetermined. Finally, the engine coolant reservoir was empty. These issues only reveal what was discovered on the vehicle’s exterior, and the interior issues were comparable. 

The interior components showed wear beyond the years. It is important to remember that older cars will often have general wear and tear to an extent. If a car is properly maintained even after 50+ years, the car can be competitively priced as a collector vehicle. This 1966 Cadillac Eldorado however was a little worse than expected. 

Within the interior, the steering wheel was cracked and showed overall wear. There was a very apparent hole in the front left footwell carpet. The cruise control was none operational at the time of inspection. The trim of the right front seat was loose, with wires sticking out from the underside of the seat. The clocks within the vehicle were non-operational. The radio did show signs of power; however, it was only capable of playing static, and the antenna showed no sign of power. The vehicle’s power locks did not have power (no pun intended) nor the driver’s door master switch for the right rear window. The fuel gauge and temperature gauge were also inoperable. The center console of the vehicle was loose, and the air conditioning could not get cold. 

Finally, the road test revealed operational issues within the vehicle. A road test is standard practice for a classic inspection performed by Lemon Squad. A classic inspection is intended for any car that is over 20 years old. The advantage of a classic inspection on a vintage vehicle is the thorough, organized and informed perspective of the inspector. Inspectors are selected for certain jobs based on their specialty and experience, meaning that they know the common issues and warning signs for specific vehicle classifications. When driving, the inspector found that the car’s steering had play, and the vehicle’s front end wandered. Upon braking, it was discovered that the car pulled. A car that pulls when braking can often indicate a failing brake caliper. 

Why is a Pre-Purchase Auto Inspection Important? 

Based on the photos of this car, many, if not all, of these cosmetic and internal problems, could have gone undetected until post-purchase. Not being able to see a vehicle in person poses a unique threat to buyers – the threat of buying a lemon. 

Flashy, well lit images can disguise many faults in a vehicle. This buyer could make an informed decision based on the findings by taking advantage of Lemon Squad’s mobile pre-purchase inspectors. With the inspection report, this potential buyer could weigh not only the cost of the vehicle but also the costs that would be incurred fixing the vehicle into an operable state.