When you buy a used car, a car dealer is required to give you a "Buyers Guide" to inform you whether the car is being sold with or without a dealer warranty. If the "AS IS" box is checked, then the dealer is not providing a warranty for the car. If the "DEALER WARRANTY" box is checked then the dealer is providing a warranty for the car for the length of time and/or miles stated on the Buyers Guide.
However, if you buy an “As-Is” car from a dealer, the sale really is not “As-Is.” “As-Is” means the dealer is not giving you an express warranty for the condition of the car, and the car does not come with any implied warranties. Essentially this means that if the car has mechanical troubles, the dealer has no obligation to fix them.
But, a dealer must always sell cars that meet certain minimum requirements. It must be safe, and it must work (get you from point A to point B).
Every used car dealer is required to perform a safety inspection of each car it sells. This includes working brake and head lights, horn, wipers, seat belts, adequate brakes, adequate tire tread, etc.
If your car has any safety defects, you may have the right to ask the dealer to repair them or buy back your car.
If you purchase a car from a private seller, the sale truly is “As-Is.” The car could break down a block away and the seller is not liable. However, a private seller is required to smog the vehicle no more than 90 days before the sale. Be sure to ask for the smog certificate.