Flood Damaged Vehicles
Don’t Drop Your Money Into a Vehicle That Has Sunk!
Shopping for a used car is never an easy task. Some dishonest individuals and unscrupulous car dealers have resold flood damaged vehicles without disclosing it to the unsuspecting buyer. Flood damaged vehicles are more likely to incur expensive repairs and become unsafe in the future. Many of the future problems arising from flood damaged vehicles relate to the electrical or air bag components.
As a consumer, it is always best to be cautious and thoroughly research used vehicles before your purchase. Following are some tips from the National Crime Insurance Bureau about how to avoid flood damaged vehicles:
- Select a reputable car dealer.
- Inspect the vehicle for water stains, mildew, sand or silt under the carpets, floor mats, headliner cloth and behind the dashboard.
- Check for recently shampooed carpet.
- Inspect the interior upholstery and door panels for fading.
- Check for rust on screws in the console or areas where water normally doesn’t reach.
- Check for mud or grit in the spare tire compartment, alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses, around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
- Check inside the seatbelt retractors by pulling the seatbelt all the way out and inspect for moisture, mildew or grime.
- Check door speakers as they will often be damaged due to flooding.
- Have a certified mechanic inspect the vehicle prior to purchasing it.
- Ask about the vehicle’s history. Ask whether it was in any accidents or floods.
- Inspect the title and ownership papers for any potential or questionable salvage fraud.
- Conduct a title search of the vehicle.
- Look under the hood for signs of oxidation. Pull back rubber boots around electrical and mechanical connections for these indicators:
- Ferrous materials will show signs of rust
- Copper will show a green patina
- Aluminum and alloys will have a white powder and pitting.
- Trust your instincts: If you don’t like the answers or the deal sounds too good to be true, walk away!