Ask Amy: Does dealership have to tell you if a used vehicle needs repairs?

While the new car shortage issue is looking up - there are still a lot of people buying used vehicles right now. What happens if you buy a used car from a dealership, then discover it needs major repairs? You might not like the answer to this one.


Charles sent our Investigates team an email about a used car he purchased. About a week after he bought the car he said a mechanic told him that it needed new wheel bearings. Without them, the mechanic said his wheels could lock up and cause an accident.

Question: Is the dealership responsible for making sure a car is roadworthy before selling it to the public?


Answer: The short answer is no, the dealership is not responsible. In Texas, the onus is really on the buyer to make sure you know what you are buying. The Texas Attorney General recommends taking any vehicle on a test drive before you buy it and always taking it to a mechanic that you choose for a pre-sale inspection. You should also check the title. If the seller won’t let you do these things, you should not buy the vehicle.

Federal law requires all used car dealers to tell buyers whether a used car is being sold with or without a warranty. If it does not have one it is being sold “as is.” That means the vehicle does not have a warranty and the seller is under no obligation for repairs.

If you do buy a car without a title, you have to apply for a bonded title in order to get it registered and insured. And this is usually when buyers find out their new car was stolen. That’s when the police confiscate it and you will lose all of the money you paid for it.

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

You should do a title and history check before buying any vehicle

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles charges about $10 to do a title and history check. You should do this when buying a car from anyone - especially an individual. We’ve told you before Houston Police Department Auto Theft Task Force Investigators are seeing stolen cars shuffled through websites like Craigslist, Offer up and Facebook marketplace.


Saving money at warehouse club stores

You might ask yourself: Are you really saving money if you are paying to join a membership club like Costco or Sam’s Club? It depends! In this week’s Ask Amy episode I join KPRC producer Andrea Slaydon to talk about the secret savings you can score at bulk buying membership clubs.

(Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

For some of these deals, you don’t even have to buy a membership!

You can watch or listen to this week’s Ask Amy episode right now.


If you have a topic idea or question for me, email AskAmy@kprc.com.


About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.