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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.


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.