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How to avoid bad deals on used cars

Tyler Walters thought his 2003 Chevrolet Silverado was the truck of his dreams.

"It was clean. It looked like it was well-kept," Walters said. "It was up to date on inspections."

But a few days after the Walters paid $13,000 for the truck and a warranty at a dealership out of the local area, it turned into a nightmare. The truck stopped working.

"My mechanic found a whole list of things on the truck that wouldn't have even let it pass inspection," Walters said.

The truck needs $4,000 in repairs. The Walters say the dealer refuses to fix it, so for two years it's been sitting and they've been paying.

What can you do to protect yourself? We stopped by Wessels Used Cars in Dillsburg for some tips. First, get the car's vehicle identification number and do your research. Wessels suggests Carfax.

"It's going to give you a general overview of the vehicle," William Wessels said. "Hopefully, it has some good service history and where the car lived."

You can see if the vehicle has a reconstructed title or flood damage.

Next, the newer the car, the bettter - for safety reasons and mileage.

"Even a newer car with some miles on it has the potential for another 100,000 miles today," Wessels said.

Don't be afraid to ask a dealer if your mechanic can take a look at the vehicle, something the Walters wished they would have done before they bought their truck. It was their mechanic who that noticed the undercoat sprayed on the truck was hiding all the flaws.

Finally, know the business day rule. Under federal law, if you write a check, you have five business days to cancel it. 

The Walters were going to cancel their check, but at that time the dealer claimed he was going to make the repairs, and then it was too late.
 


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