Not sure if you’ve come across a junk car? There are several signs to watch for that will tell you if the vehicle is in poor condition and ready to break down on the side of the road. With these four tips, you’ll be able to spot a junk vehicle:

The Body is Rusted

The first sign of a junk vehicle is obvious: rust. If you’re looking at an older car and see that it has significant rust, you should stay away. That kind of damage means that at some point in its life, your car was exposed to conditions that allowed water and oxygen to invade (like an uninsulated garage or basement).

The rust you sean may also mean there’s more under fresh paint. Rust will continue spreading and destroying other parts of your car—most likely reducing its value as time goes on. A rusty vehicle is worth less than its clean counterpart and it makes no sense to buy one when you could just get a cleaner car for less money.

The Car is Smoking

Another obvious sign of a junk car is a strong smell coming from under the hood. Whether it’s oil, gas, or something worse, it could mean big problems for your vehicle. Smelling smoke when you start up your car is one of many red flags that indicate impending engine failure.

The best course of action is identifying what’s wrong as soon as possible and making sure it’s repaired by someone who knows what they are doing. Otherwise, consider finding a junk vehicle buyer for cash to take care of your car for you.

The Wheels Aren’t in Good Condition

Junk cars typically have old, cracked, or damaged tires. If you don’t inspect a vehicle’s wheels and tires regularly for damage, you may have bought a car that already has problematic tires and is likely a danger to drive on the road. Make sure both sets of wheels look good before purchasing a car.

The Engine Rattles When Idling

An engine that rattles when idling suggests that it is a junk car in poor condition. Listen closely when you’re driving and see if there are any abnormal vibrations or knocks coming from the car. It may also be useful to have an expert listen to your car with an OBD-II scanner, which can tell you what exactly is wrong with your vehicle. Anything other than green (no problems detected) isn’t a good sign.

Whether you’re in the market for a new vehicle or checking the status of your current car, the last thing you want to do is make a costly or dangerous mistake. Keep these four signs in mind to make sure you’re able to properly identify junk vehicles.