Spotting flood damage on a used car can be difficult and can cause major issues down the road if missed. Many vehicles were damaged during Hurricane Sandy, most beyond repair, but others will find their way back on the roads. Even if the damage is not immediately evident, corrosion can continue and cost new owners money and possibly cause accidents.
Help ensure your next used car is free of water damage by following a few simple tips.
- Always Review the Vehicle’s History Report – Many states require “Salvage” or “Flood” stamps on the vehicle’s title if damaged. You can also check to see where the vehicle was registered to determine if it came from a region that has experienced flooding.
- Check for Signs of Damage – Look in the trunk, the glove compartment, around the seats, and on the outside of the car for any rust, mud, or signs of discoloration or mismatched materials which may have been replaced.
- Use Your Nose – Does the car smell moldy or musty? Is the seller trying to mask unpleasant orders with an air freshener?
- Test the Vehicles Features and Systems – Make sure all the lights and windows work, as well as the radio, the heater, and the air conditioning. Look for foggy mirrors, lights, and instrument panels which indicate moisture accumulation.
- Check for Brittle Wires – See if any of the wires under the dash are brittle or cracked, a result of wet wires that have dried.
- Go for a Test Drive – Listen for any unexpected noises, check for warning lights, and see if any smoke comes from the exhaust.
- Have the Vehicle Inspected – Trained mechanics know how to spot flood damage and can inspect areas you may not be able to access. It is always a good idea to have a used car inspected prior to making a purchase decision but even more so if you suspect any flood damage.
Don’t get stuck with a flood damaged car that will not only require extensive repairs but may be unsafe to drive. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly or better yet, only purchase from reputable used car dealers like Pfeiffer Used Cars. Contact us today for more information on how to spot a flood damaged vehicle or to browse our extensive inventory of quality used cars, truck, and SUVs.