How Does one Cope With The Purchase of a Lemon?

Does any one want to share their experiences with a purchase of a lemon and how did you cope with it? I feel awful after spending my savings on my 92 mazda miata sunburst yellow lemon.

Lemon Laws only apply to new cars. As far as used cars I don’t think there is much help out there. Your '92 Miata is a 20 year old car now. So, you really can’t expect much and I don’t think any “Lemon Laws” will apply. If you feel deceived by the seller you might have recourse, but you’d have to be pretty sure you can prove intentional fraud. That is not an easy case to make. You need to talk to a lawyer in your state of residence.

20 year old sports cars are ALL “Lemons”…After 20 years of “normal wear and tear” there’s not much left…

Hi Caddyman,

I wish I had known you yesterday before 4pm.

Go to a Miata forum on the web and join. They are one of the most, if not the most active forums among car forums. If the car runs and drives well, it can still be a lot of fun so even if it is a lemon, you might still get your moneys worth of enjoyment out of it yet. It may not be as bad as you think.

You are experiencing the normal cycle of a used car purchase. The car attracts you because it offers you something you desire. The moment you drop your money down on it, you lift the veil, as in a marriage and now you see all the flaws.

But as time goes on, the car either provides you with pleasure and you begin to respect it, or it becomes a major headache and divorce becomes the only option. I hope you are open to the pleasures it can bring.

Thanks Keith. I actually have been looking into the forums and will join to get maintenance support ant advise. Do you recommend anyone in particular?

I don’t own a Miata or I would have a recommendation for you. I belong to a Tercel 4WD forum as I did own one of them and I also belong to a saturn forum as I still have one of those. Just visit the various forums and see which one seems to be the most compatible with you.

Will do. Thank you. The internet can be a great.

So what exactly is wrong with the car?

Like I told my wife when she got a speeding ticket, “take it like a man”. Yeah that went over real good. Seriously, when you get knocked on your rump, you just gotta get up and dust yourself off and try to mitigate the bad deal.

So now that you’ve got it, depending, first thing is to have a good body shop take a look at how to re-do that rear end and what it would cost. Then you can either live with it, have it fixed right, or sell it again to someone else with the full report of the body damage and estimate. You like the car and still would if it weren’t for the rear end so maybe just enjoy for a while (and it was only $2800). Could have been $20,000.

As far as lemons go, one guy by where I worked at one time had a big lemon painted on a sign attached to a roof rack on his caravan. Had it for at least 5 years and then disappeared. My folks had one on a new car and after a year just traded it in again. I’ve never really had a bad lemon myself except the Morris Minor I bought for $125 and sold again but wish I still had.

So ask yourself, how you will feel 5 years from now if you still have it or will you wish you did, warts and all?

Thanks Bing,

Oblivion, I tried to cover your question below.

I hope you are fully recovered from the comment to your wife.

I do intend on taking it to the a body shop and a mechanic to get an opinion. The rear end is has clearly suffered damaged which was poorly repaired. The ignition key which is supposed to open the doors, and truck does not open the truck not to mention it have to wiggle it to open the driver’s door. Second, the truck, I have to press hard to close it and to make sure it is close after I press hard, I mean hard, I have to try to open it just to ensure it is close. The gap between the rear bumper and the truck is way too big and the truck even curves outward. I know I should have seen these clearly visible items when I first test drove the car. The car has a plate where the license plate goes, this plate made of pure cheap material(plastic). The plate is loose to the point where I can pull it off without effort. How I didn’t see these things I don’t know. I should have! I focused too much on the engine which I know nothing about but wanted assurance from the seller that the engine was in good condition. My mistake, I thought the seller had integrity. I trusted him.

I hope the engine is in good condition as the seller said. I will take it to get the smog inspection and get it inspected by a mechanic. Well, I thought buying this car was going to bring some fun, but Instead is bringing me quite a learning experience. I don’t know which one is best to have right now. I want to say the learning experience since it was $2800.

I’ll let you guys how it goes when I take the time to take it to a mechanic.

$2800 for a yellow Miata sounds like a reasonable deal to me. A 20 year old car can’t be expected to be as good as a new one. Some problems are to be expected. But the miata is a well made car and I expect whatever problems exist can be fixed. Short of dough? This might be a good time to take an auto-repair class at your local high school or college night program. I expect a 1992 Miata is a fairly easy car for an amateur mechanic to diagnose and fix.

To expand on George’s idea a little bit, you might take your car to a vocational school and let them have some experience working on it in their auto body class.