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Lemon of the Week (September 14th, 2022)

The most recent Lemon Of The Week is here, and it is, drum roll please: Car #1: the 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman

Each week, we take a poll from our followers on the Lemon Squad Instagram page. 

Followers are provided one image and brief information about two cars that Lemon Squad has previously inspected. They then have the chance to vote on which vehicle they think is the “Biggest Lemon” (the car in the worst shape of the two). 

The following week, we will release a blog (like this) so that you can get a bit more information about the car’s condition and why a pre-purchase inspection is so important. So if you missed out last week, get involved in the next poll. 

We post a new survey every Wednesday on our Instagram story! Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

In the deep dive into this inspection, we will look at the vehicle’s exterior, interior, and performance. In every Lemon Squad inspection, customers get a thorough report of the condition of the car aesthetically, as well as the condition of the mechanic components and performance. So let’s get into the report!


The interior of the vehicle was overall in good shape. 

The only significant wear beyond what is normal was the left front seat. The cover was worn with an apparent tear on the bottom of this seat. The other parts within the interior only showed general wear that is expected for the age and mileage of the vehicle. All electrical components within the interior were fully functional at the time of inspection. 


The exterior of the car was in worse condition than the interior. 

Excessive scratching was apparent around the whole body of the vehicle. Both rear tailgate panels had large dents from impact assumed to be caused by a collision. The bulb malfunction light was on. The door mirrors showed miscellaneous scratches. The windshield had many rock chips. 

Rock chips not only pose a threat not only to the aesthetics of the vehicle, but to the safety of the driver as they weaken the windshield overall, making further damage and injury more probable. In this weakened state, rock chips can spread like spiderwebs, impairing your ability to see and drive safely. You even run the risk of the windshield fully shattering from debris from the road or high winds. 

For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to get rock chips repaired or, depending on the severity, the entire windshield replaced. 

Minor surface rust was found on the underside, and as mentioned in a previous Lemon Of The Week, rust can be a big concern. The engine was seeping oil from the underside, although no drips were apparent during the inspection. It is recommended that this area of the vehicle be cleaned off and checked to verify the source and severity of the leaks. 

Test Drive

Finally, the driving test revealed the most significant issue with the vehicle. 

During the drive test, the inspector noted that they could hear what sounded like a squealing and growling noise, which is most likely due to an issue with the wheel bearings. It resonated throughout the car during the whole test drive, making it clear that a complete diagnosis is needed to gauge the severity and cause of the noise. 

In addition to this apparent noise, the inspector noticed a slight pulsation from the brake pedal when coming to a stop. 

Warped rotors put your car at the risk of a total brake system failure. Yes – it is as bad as it sounds! This type of failure can result in delayed stopping, or even the inability to stop, putting you and others around you at risk. This issue can be instigated when a vehicle has warped rotors, so it is highly encouraged to avoid all driving and immediately contact a mechanic. 

By using Lemon Squad to complete a Standard Pre-Purchase Inspection, this buyer got an honest condition on the quality and performance of this vehicle. Misrepresentation runs rampant in the used car industry, so verifying an automobile before purchase is vital. 

Pre-purchase inspections also provide more negotiation power to the purchasing party. With more insight and an honest third-party opinion, buyers can get a deal that reflects the vehicle and its quality. 

So, if you are thinking about buying a car, get started booking an inspection with Lemon Squad today!