If you’ve watched the news lately, you may have caught a glimpse of the thousands of cars damaged by flooding. Many of these are left behind and reported as a total loss to insurance companies. Unfortunately, many of these cars will end up back on the market and sold in places like Massachusetts. Here are some ways that you can avoid buying flood damaged cars.
How Flood Damaged Cars End Up on the Market
Flood damaged cars are often auctioned off in as-is condition. Some purchase them for spare parts while others rehabilitate them for resale. These vehicles can often be purchased for very little money, making them appealing. Many of these cars can end up at dealerships or offered in private sales.
Learn To Spot the Signs of Flood Damaged Cars
Flood damaged cars can appear perfectly normal on the surface. Repairs are often completed to make them presentable and functional. However, the danger lies beneath the surface. Components may be corroded or otherwise damaged and unsafe. It may be difficult to spot these dangers during a test drive. Here are a few ways that you can determine whether a car was flood damaged.
- VIN – Flood damaged cars typically have a salvage title associated with the VIN number.
- Odors – The smell of mold may linger even after a vehicle has been cleaned.
- Corrosion – If you look closely underneath a vehicle and in gaps between seats, you may spot signs of rust or corrosion.
- Water Remnants – Look for signs of water penetration in areas such as headlamps. Some spaces are difficult to dry out and may still contain moisture.
- Mismatched Colors – If you open the hood or gas compartment, you may be able to tell whether a car has been painted over. It’s difficult to match a car’s original color and signs of the old paint color can often be visible in these areas.
- Squeeky Operation – When test driving a car, if you notice funny sounds or creaky, this could be a sign of past flood damage.
More on How to Avoid Buying Flood Damaged Cars
Sometimes it can be difficult to pass up a great deal, but you should stop and ask yourself why it’s such a great deal. Is a car heavily discounted because it was flood damaged? Do certain things not function exactly as expected? If you notice anything unusual or suspicious with a car, follow your instincts. They’re usually right. Although flood damaged cars may be offered at a great deal, they will cost you a lot more in maintenance and repairs. In fact, some issues could be safety related and leave you prone to future accidents. It’s best to avoid these altogether! Be sure to check the VIN number on a car and look for the signs mentioned above before you purchase. You’ll be glad that you did!