Car shopping can be a time-consuming and stressful activity. No matter how tempting it is to just grab at a car that looks good, you need to realize that rushing to purchase a vehicle can leave you in a world of hurt. There is nothing worse than buying a used car to find out it has major mechanical problems.
Big problems with a car can easily cost you thousands of dollars, turning a car that was a great deal into a complete rip-off. Depending on the problem and where you live you might not even be able to license the vehicle until you have made the necessary repairs, meaning you have inherited a car that must be kept in your garage until you round up the money to pay your mechanic. Fortunately you can avoid these types of problems by looking out for the following seven warning signs that a used car is a money pit.
1. Rough patches in the paint.
Oftentimes unscrupulous car owners and dealerships will try to cover up body damage on a vehicle with Bondo or some other type of body putty and then paint over it. The putty usually leaves a rough spot in a car’s body, so look over all of the body panels thoroughly and touch any suspicious-looking areas. Take a magnet with you and try sticking it to the portion of the body panel in question. If the magnet sticks it is an indication there is no putty hiding under the paint, but remember that rough paint could also indicate a rust patch growing under the surface.