Beware the Lemon Man!
Week before last, I traded a lemon for a lemon.
That is, I bought a used car that seemed to be in pretty good shape. In my defense, I drove it for 20 minutes and even had a mechanic take a look at it.
But I really wanted a Honda station wagon that was easier to get in and out of and load and unload — so when I saw this car by the side of the road (not pictured here) I let my emotion cloud my judgment and, in fact, bought a lemon.
Fifteen minutes into my first solo drive, it began to run hot and blew a head gasket. Turns out it didn’t even have a thermostat in it. It also had a host of other problems and is costing some money to fix. Since I didn’t pay much for it, I think in the end I’ll still have the car I want, with a lot less miles than the one I had, at a decent price (but not as good a price as I thought).
That said — I gave The Lemon Man my car as part of the deal. My car had all kinds of problems.
â€¢The keyway was welded to the crankshaft, which — as I understand it — means it will soon need the engine replaced.
â€¢The air-conditioner didn’t work and needs a condenser (expensive).
â€¢It needs an axle. Soon.
â€¢I took out my good radio/mp3 player and filled the hole with a radio that doesn’t work at all.
â€¢The bumper was badly split — almost in thirds — in two places, and so rusted that it was held on with two screws, one on each side.
â€¢It also has a dent in the passenger side that gets bigger each time the door is opened.
Aside from that, it’s running fine. The car is not worth more than three or four hundred dollars, which is about what I got for the trade. I paid $2400 for the car seven years ago. When I bought it, it had 145k miles on it. Now the odometer is over 240k.
The guy promised me that he would not leave the Coffee News logo on it, but would paint it.
Well, somebody said he saw a guy with cigarette hanging out of his mouth rounding a corner in it the other day — and I about threw up.
Alas, I can relax now. I’ve found the car.
Painted. Dents and broken bumper repaired (cosmetically; any little bump and that bumper will be dragging the ground — again). Certainly the same radio, A/C, and engine. The Lemon Man is asking $2800. Beware!