Buy car after floods
Is it worth to buy a water damaged car?
Every now and then our continent gets hit with some natural disaster like a hurricane or flood. Many a time, two of these in the very same period. You know – misery loves company. Anyways, since our nation is so much in love with the automobile, there are very high odds that in every area that has gotten hit with the natural disaster there are used cars for sale. In fact, they number of ads is mushrooming every time the water comes down and people manage to come back to normal (usually it’s about 2 or 3 months after the big disaster.) Anyways, the real problem here is, you can come across such cars without even knowing. Is it safe? If not, how to avoid such cars? Learn more by reading the article that follows below.
First off, the answer to the first question is: it depends. If you are lucky and manage to find a car that has only had its wheels and chassis slightly immersed in the water, then there’s no problem. You may only want to change brake pads as they might have gotten a bit rust on. Don’t get too excited, though. In case the car stood still in the water, there’s a very high chance that the chassis will get rusty too. And be prepared that getting rid of it is a big and expensive job. The real problem appears when the car was sunk under water. To put it another way, in case the water reached the windows level, you should better avoid the vehicle at any cost. However, the real pain in the neck here is, sometimes it’s hard to determine whether this has happened to a particular car or not. Keep calm, though, and read on!
Now, what should you do to avoid flood-affected cars? Here’s a shortlist:
Avoid ads from affected areas.
As easy as it sounds? Well, yes. If you know that there was some natural disaster in a particular area, it may be a good idea to stay away from any car that is listed in the particular region. In case you are not sure about it, better research any floods history on the Web. There are plenty of resources on that.
Avoid cars that are too cheap.
This piece of advice is so universal that it could be used in almost every How to buy a used car in 10 steps guideline series. Here, again and again, it proves right. And we will keep repeating that like some weird mantra: in case you have heard about any water-related natural disaster in a particular area, beware of cars from these regions. Obviously, some smart guys may have moved to another state to sell the car. Yet, then, they probably have not changed the license plates, so there goes the hint. Anyways, coming back to the original idea, in case all the above conditions are fulfilled and you DO encounter a true bargain from an affected region, don’t buy it! Unless, of course, you want to have some really bad time.
Check the VIN number.
This abbreviation stands for Vehicle Identification Number. It is a couple of digits given to every individual car. You can easily check that in the title, as well as some particular places in the car. Please note that the actual spots may vary according to the manufacturer, so better make sure about it before doing that thorough check. How can a VIN number help? Basically, you can then use it for checking the car’s history at Carfax, for instance. Not only will it let you avoid flood-damaged vehicles, but also cars that may have been subject to total salvage, for example.
Look for signs.
Water getting in the inside of the car is very pervasive. It destroys anything on its way. Be sure to look for signs of moisture or mud particles around the car. This means, you have to do a thorough inspection, paying special attention to spaces that you can not see at first glance. For example, look under the seats, pull up the trunk floor, open the glove box, you know, you name it. Plus to that, don’t forget to look under the hood. In fact these parts are the hardest to clean from any flood-related debris.
Why is it dangerous to buy a car that has been through a flood? Keep in mind that most of today’s cars are simply filled with electronic devices of all sorts. Now, can you imagine what happens to, say, your cellphone or any other device of this type, after you have put it underwater? Yeah, you guessed it – the thing will stop working! The same happens to cars. Yet, the real problem here is, fixing the car’s electronics is a never-ending story.