Signs that a Car Has Been Through a Flood

Published: 23rd February 2010
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There are many flood damaged cars being sold on the market. Usually, flood damaged cars, SUVs and trucks are placed in salvage yards. Some though, are made spick and span and put into the car market and they will be up for sale. But the problem is, there really are no tell tale signs of flood damage that would give them away. This is because the cars will be restored so they would look almost like new. The damages caused by the flood would be erased or covered. After the changes, the cars will then be sold to unsuspecting buyers who thinks they are getting a good bargain.

Fact is flood damaged cars are being moved by unscrupulous merchants. Consumers can and should protect themselves against being taken advantage of in the auto market. Luckily, there are several things consumers can do to protect themselves from buying flood damaged cars.

The best things a consumer can do to be sure if a car is flood damaged or not is to get the history of the vehicle. You can do this by submitting the vehicle identification number (VIN) of a car to a website which provides vehicle history information. What these websites do is search a nationwide database of car information then gathers research on the car's title, maintenance record, registration, and odometer. You will instantaneously know if the vehicle has been stolen, has had a troubled past, or has had its odometer rolled back through the report that the website will return. Just a little research on a car's history will reveal if it has been salvaged, flooded, rebuilt, or is basically a "lemon."

Prospective car buyers should be aware of flood damaged vehicles being sold on the car market. Why shouldn't you buy flood damaged cars? Well simply because water leaves a lasting damage. Even if the devices and machines requiring electricity will restore it, it will probably fail sooner or later because mold and mildew aren't' easy to remove. And when a car is flood damaged any warranty warrant is voided.

Below are several things you can do to check if a car is flood damaged:

Check for moisture and dirt.
Flood damaged cars usually have moisture trapped and dirt inside the lights. Dampness can also be seen inside the compartment with glovesF, console and trunk so you better inspect these spots. Dirt, which can also be a sign of flood damage, can also accumulate under the hood. Moisture can also accumulate under the seat. Of course, rust is another telltale sign of flood damage.

Smell the car
Mildew can be easily detected by smelling. Mildew often forms on soaked fabrics so sharpen your sense of smell when you're on the lookout for a new vehicle. Also try to detect other smells that could be caused by flood damage like spilled oil or fuel.

Check if components match
Mismatched component could mean that the component are changed hurriedly after the car has been salvaged from a flood. So try to see if the carpet, seats and stereo components looks too new for the car.

Also try to check if the car has been titled several times from different states, which is usually a hint that its owners are trying to erase the questionable and negative history of the car by looking for spots where disclosing defects is not required or is easily evaded. Cars that are titled several times are usually salvaged or totaled.

Test drive
Of course the best way to check the performance of a car is to take it for a test drive. Check the electrical system including all the lights and the sound system.

Ask an expert
Have an expert mechanic or technician check the car. Have a second opinion if you may. Expert mechanics and car technician can detect flood damaged cars easily than ordinary people.

Remember that in buying a vehicle, never ever take a chance. Buying a damaged vehicle can cost you more than your money. It could also bring serious accident even death. If you suspect that someone is selling you a car that has been flood damaged immediately say no then walk away. The dough you will save in buying a flood damaged car will quickly go away by the headache it will bring.

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