With hurricanes and heavy rains in the last few months and the hurricane season not over yet you might be fooled into buying a flood damaged vehicle. You might think that those cars which have been “totaled” by an insurance company can’t be resold, but unfortunately their are gaps in the regulations and that allows for unscrupulous people to sell a flood damaged car at your expense.
This happens when insurance companies do the right thing and change the title to “Salvage” or possible “Flood” depending on the state but people work around the “right thing”. If bought at an auction which is marked for parts, salvaged or even put through the shredder at the recycling center, however they can put some repairs into the vehicle and get it retitled without the “flood or salvage” in the title.
You might even consider buying one which “might be flood damaged because it is such a great deal. However the odds are extremely stacked against a flood damaged car being worth any realistic value because of the high amount of electronics and sensors. If a car is moved from a flood damaged area immediately and minor repairs and Major cleaning are done it may run for a few months without an issue. When corrosion occurs over time the electronics fail and the vehicle is only worth parts or scrap value. Think about a piece of metal left in the rain. It will last for a short time however rust sets in relatively quickly.
Like all car repair in Laurel, Burtonsville, Maple Lawn Farms, Fulton, Clarksville, Highland and Columbia MD we want to be honest and forthright so you can have the answers needed to make an informed decision on all your automotive needs and news.
Here’s a few more Tips about identifying Flood Damaged Cars, Trucks, Vehicles in Maryland:
Odors Odors and more Odors. You might notice a musty, mildew or mold smell. Or you might notice a STRONG smell of deodorizer, detergent or air freshener to cover the smell.
The history of the car or truck shows it has just lately come from a state which has been in the hurricane or flooded areas. But retitled for your state.
There are many national websites which MAY help like carfax, National Insurance VIN Check, Vehicle History GOV
Air Filter have a Water stain? It is rare for an air filter to have water stain during normal use.
Lights should not have significant moisture inside of them. While a crack will allow a small amount of moisture in, a major flood will often cause this in several lights. A “water line” is another sign in the lights area.
Water lines and Silt under the hood. Open the hood and check the firewall, engine, radiator… Silt will often collect in the tiny nooks and crannies that are under the hood. It may be simple to wash the large surfaces but many pockets allow for silt to stick around even after a good washing.
Carefully feel in areas that are tough to reach like inside the trunk, hood, under seats
Seats been removed lately? When trying to dry carpeting it is common to remove the seats. Are there unusual marks as if someone has struggled to remove the nuts which hold the seats?
Electronics, Electronics, Electronics! Does the radio and speakers sound “normal”? Seat warmers work? All lights (especially interior – which may be hard to see in the daylight)
Lastly, Give us a call, schedule an appointment if you have any doubts. You might notice one of these items but have doubts with the seller’s explanation. We have the experience in auto repairs since the 1970’s and have seen many things which can help with buying a used car. Being a locally owned and operated car repair shop with family’s of our own we know the importance of honesty and trust in your mechanic aka “ASE Certified Master Technician”.
As will all our automotive news articles we hope this information is helpful to you BEFORE you need it. Remember this not only during hurricane season but well into the spring and Summer of the following year. We are glad to help with all your car repair in Laurel, Burtonsville, Maple Lawn Farms, Fulton, Clarksville, Highland and Columbia MD and all your automotive news.