Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney Discusses Top Car Problems

A car is referred to as a “lemon” if it has a serious problem that substantially affects its use, value, or safety. The most frequently asked question is what types of problems qualify a car as a lemon. It should be noted that every car is different and will have unique issues that will turn it into a lemon. Nevertheless, the following is a list of the top issues that may deem a vehicle a lemon:

Engine Problems

There are a variety of engine problems that can affect a car’s use and safety. These problems include:

    • Stalling occurs when there is an unexpected engine shutdown while a car is being driven.
    • Misfiring happens when one or more engine cylinders fail to ignite properly; the engine will idle unevenly or rough.
    • Engine overheating is often caused by a clogged radiator, a broken thermostat, or a cooling system leak.
    • Engine pinging or knocking occurs when the fuel and air mixture detonates too quickly.
    • Unusual engine noises, such as ticking, knocking, or squealing.
    • Drop in engine power caused by clogged air filters, fuel system issues, or worn spark plugs.
    • Engine warning light which could be related to some serious issues or just a system malfunction.
    • Complete engine failure and operation.

Transmission Issues

A transmission in a car is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels. Transmission issues are often a serious safety concern and they can include any of the following:

    • Slipping is when the transmission can’t maintain gears, increasing the engine RPM without increasing the speed of the vehicle.
    • Hesitation is when the accelerator pedal is depressed but there is a delay before the transmission engages.
    • Hard or delayed shifting happens when the transmission shifts gears slowly or when it shifts abruptly and harshly.
    • Fluid leaks from the transmission.Burning smell when transmission fluid overheats and breaks down.

Electrical Problems

Electrical malfunctions are problems that affect the car’s main electrical system, onboard computer, the battery, alternator, starter, lights, audio system, navigation system, entertainment system, and gauges. Some of the more serious issues include the following:

    • Alternator failure which causes the car’s battery not to charge.
    • Faulty wiring that causes a host of electrical malfunctions with the car, such as the lights, the engine, the console, and the battery. Faulty wiring is mostly a manufacturing defect.
    • Electrical shorts may cause a sudden loss of power, gauge malfunctions, light problems, onboard computer issues and even a fire.
    • Gauge malfunctions with the fuel, speedometer, or tachometer are also a sign of electrical problems and a serious safety issue.
    • Audio and navigation system failures are similarly caused by electrical problems. These issues often include static noise or intermittent power problems.
    • Dimming or flickering lights are the most common type of electrical problems with vehicles. And while they may not pose a safety threat, they do contribute or loss of use and value of the vehicle.

Brake Failures

Without a doubt, vehicle brake problems are among the most serious safety issues that can turn a car into a lemon, even if it only occurs once. It should be noted that this problem primarily relates to brakes that were defective when installed or designed by the manufacturer, rather than brake failures brought on by a car owner neglecting to maintain or service the brakes. These manufacturing issues can include, but are not limited to:

    • Complete brake failure due to negligent design or installation of the braking system. For example, a faulty break cylinder will usually cause a complete loos of breaking power.
    • Vibrating sensation when braking due to faulty or misaligned brake rotors.

Repeated repaired defects

It is important to note that other types of vehicle flaws or problems, even seemingly minor ones, may cause a car to become a lemon if the dealership is unable to correct them. For instance, even though a convertible’s leaky roof isn’t necessarily a serious flaw affecting its safety, it might still count as a lemon if it can’t be fixed. Whistling noises from the air conditioning system, which a dealership is unable to fix after a couple of attempts, may also turn a car into a lemon because they impair its use or functionality.

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