Buyer Beware: Flooded-out-cars is a problem

If you’re looking to buy a used car, making sure the car has not been submerged.  Water damage is one of the worst things that can happen to a car. The damage is often invisible and hard to detect after the car has been “cleaned.”

What can you do? Contact your mechanic.  Details:

Ask Sam from 2017:

“While services like Carfax can be a good resource for buyers, the only true way of knowing whether a vehicle has suffered flood damage is to have a certified mechanic inspect the vehicle,” said Greg Pence, auto buying manager for AAA Carolinas.

Here are some of the precautions they recommend:

  • Engage your sense of smell to detect any damp or musty odors inside the vehicle.
  • Pay attention to such clues as whether the windows fog up or the carpet or upholstery has been replaced or recently shampooed. If you can, pull back the carpet at different areas to look for mud, dirt or water stains.
  • Inspect the dashboard underside for signs of mud and dirt. This is a particularly hard area to clean.
  • Look under the vehicle for corrosion. It is uncommon to find corrosion in newer vehicles and those that are owned or sold in southern states, AAA says.
  • Open all doors, hood and trunk to inspect for corrosion, mud and dirt or discoloration on the door frames, hinges and under the weather stripping. Pay special attention to small spaces and crevices that are difficult to clean.
  • Check all warning lights, window motors and all electrical components to ensure they are working properly. While a non-working part alone does not mean the vehicle was flooded, it combined with other difficulties is a cause for concern.

Another good practice that can help prospective buyers avoid flood-damaged cars and trucks is buying a vehicle history report.

“While such reports don’t always catch everything, more often than not they will indicate when a vehicle has been in a flood or been issued a salvage title, indicating a major problem in its past,” AAA says.

Source: AAA Carolinas / Winston-Salem Journal



Verne Hill
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