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Lemon of the Week (September 28th, 2022)

Another week, another Lemon! Lemon Squad takes to Instagram each week to get input from our followers. 

How the Lemon of the Week Works

On Wednesdays, we post a poll to our Instagram account that includes an image of two cars and some brief bullet points on the vehicle’s condition. Followers then can vote for the car they view as the bigger Lemon. The following week, we released a blog (like this) to provide readers with insight into an inspection report and what it can reveal about a used vehicle. So if you missed the poll last week, get involved by following us on Instagram. For other information or to stay up to date with what is new and exciting with Lemon Squad, check out our Twitter and Facebook!

The Winner

This week, the winning Lemon (or the car in the worst shape) was the 2009 Isuzu NPR. At the time of inspection, this vehicle was just short of 160,000 miles, making general wear and tear based on the age and mileage to be expected. We’ll dive into the interior, exterior, and road test results as part of our standard Commercial Vehicle Inspections procedure.

One of our unique features is choosing an inspection tailored to the type of vehicle you are looking to buy. When you select the specific inspection for the vehicle type, we match you up with an inspector who specializes in that category of inspection and vehicle. This provides a trained eye that is qualified to evaluate the car at an elevated professional level

2009 Isuzu NPR


The Interior Inspection

In general, the interior inspection revealed an overall fine condition for a commercial vehicle. However, in the thorough walkthrough, we also found a few noteworthy things. All the seats were in good condition except for the center back seat, which had some damage. The left door’s physical key did not work in the lock at the time of the inspection. The dashboard of the vehicle was missing the center cover. The glove box lid would not stay closed. The right sun visor clip was missing. 

The biggest thing the interior inspection revealed was rust under the left front floor mat. Our inspection noted that the cab had a lot of black undercoating, so that the floors may have additional unexposed rust. We covered how rust can be very hazardous in a vehicle in our previous Lemon of the Week blog. 

The Exterior Walkthrough

The vehicle’s exterior was in much worse condition than the interior. The windshield washers did not work at the time of inspection. The paint was in bad shape as the logo removal had taken off some finish on both sides of the box. 

Beyond that, the vehicle’s paint showed wear and tear consistent with the age and mileage. The left headlight lens was cracked, and the rear lenses of the exterior lights needed cleaning and possible polishing. The left mirror is disconnected and is missing a lower panel. A significant dent was apparent in the left side rear of the bumper. The front bumper was also cracked on the right side. There were additional dents and scratches throughout the exterior of the vehicle. 

The apparent rust on the vehicle’s interior was much more prevalent on the exterior. Lots of frame rust and overspray were found under the cab. In addition, both of the rear doors had rusted through on the inner panels. 

The Mechanical Inspection

The vehicle’s mechanics were also inspected, showing a bit more wear. The radiator reservoir cap was missing. The belts within the engine showed some varnish. The seller informed the inspector that the catalyst was stolen. Finally, the lighting within the box was hanging down below where it should have been. 

The Test Drive

Why a test drive? A drive test provides the inspector with a deeper look into the vehicle’s performance and can often allude to other problems that may have been previously masked.

So far, the drive test showed that the engine and all other components ran well at the time of inspection. The only issue at the time of inspection was that the whole box was loaded during the drive. 

Overall, the inspection report provided information unavailable through the seller’s advertisements. This is the most significant advantage of a pre-purchase used car inspection. By hiring an inspector, you can get an unbiased, third-party opinion of the condition and performance of your potential purchase. This information proves invaluable in making an intelligent and educated choice and providing insight for negotiations. 

So don’t buy a lemon – use Lemon Squad.