For instance, if you are considering the purchase of a 2009 Kia Sorento, you can check the technical service bulletins and find out that there has been a problem with a bumping sensation when the damper clutch is engaged. If that's the case, then you know where to have your mechanic devote extra attention.

You can check technical service bulletins at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/tsbs/.

broken down car automobile with hood up

No. 1: Listen to your gut

Sometimes, and there may not be tangible evidence why, but the car just doesn't seem right. If that's the case, then just walk away. The car may be pretty and shiny, but there are others out there.

There may be not a single thing wrong with it and it runs like a top, but if you have a nagging feeling that it isn't right, then go with that feeling.

But what if it is the most perfect car ever and it is the one you've wanted your whole life? Walk away. That car still exists out there somewhere; you just won't bleed money when you finally find it.

There is a growing opinion that humans have more than five senses and that intuition is one of them. If that sounds like too much hooey to you, then go ahead and buy that car despite your feelings otherwise, but don't blame us when you're stuck on the side of the road.

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