How to Spot Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Thousands of flood-damaged cars turn up for sale after hurricanes, so knowing how to spot them can be the difference in getting a quality used car or a lemon. Hurricane Harvey caused damage to around half a million vehicles in Texas. Most of those had to be either totaled or scrapped, with water up to their windows or worse yet vehicles being completely engulfed by flood waters.

flood damaged vehicles

 

Because many families lost their vehicles, they were left without transportation. This type of demand can cause prices for used vehicles to rise, but luckily many drivers are covered by insurance. Even if your insurance is picking up the tab for your new used car, you still want to make sure you’re getting something reliable and undamaged.

Unfortunately, some unscrupulous dealers or individuals often take advantage of trying to sell flood damage vehicles to unknowing customers. Several flood-damaged vehicles will be taken to salvage yards, and many of those will end up being cleaned up and sold to someone else. Selling vehicles that were damaged by flooding and later repaired is not illegal, so it helps to know what to look for.

If you don’t know a whole lot about cars, one easy way to check for flood damage is to use the vehicle’s VIN to look it up on a free service like CarFax’s flood damage check. If you want to check out the vehicle yourself, mold and mildew are a telltale sign of flood damage. Close all the doors and windows for a few minutes and open up the vehicle to see if it smells funny.

Look under the dashboard, inside the hood and trunk latches, around the door frames, and on the pedals to check for rust. If you find the carpeting or upholstery to be loose, unmatching, brand new, or stained you should be wary of possible flood damage as well.

There are plenty of other things to look for, which would be found easier by a trusted mechanic. Be sure to get the vehicle inspected by your mechanic before purchasing it and don’t be afraid to ask questions. While it can be difficult to protect your vehicle from flood damage, there are plenty of hurricane protection products available for your home. Contact Alufab USA today at 239-226-4872.