Whenever there is a natural disaster that involves flooding like a hurricane, a flood of used vehicles (no pun intended) that have experienced flood damage enter into the used car pool. While many of these vehicles should have gone to the junk yard, many individuals will fix them up and put them right back on the road and try to pass them off as a good used car. While checking the CARFAX will tell you if the vehicle was totaled in an insurance claim and the type of damage that occurred, if the vehicle did not have comprehensive collision coverage then there is probably no record of the damage.
What is a consumer to do when shopping for a used car to make sure it does not have flood damage?
Flood damage can be easily concealed and unless you know what to look for, you may never realize the vehicle was submerged underwater. Here are a few things you can do when car shopping for a used car that are a good indicator that flood damage has occurred:
- Pull up carpet if you can and look for water stains or rust stains. (if the carpet is new that may be a sign that the car was damaged and recently repaired)
- Check the door panels for fading or stains, again if they are new or look like they have been replaced recently, that could indicate a problem.
- Do you detect any unusual stains, odors or mold?
- Look under the dash, around the alternator and wiring system for dirt, grit, corrosion and residue.
- Look under the seats, dash anywhere that metal has not been painted for rust and stains. Also check screws for rust.
There are many other things technicians look for both under the hood and chassis, but his is a short list of obvious items that should send up a red flag if you see them on a car at the used car lot.
Buying a used vehicle can be a daunting task and sometimes leave you uncertain if you made the right decision. Making an appointment to bring in that used car for a pre-purchase inspection can take the headache and anxiety out of the process. If you have concerns about any potential used car you would like to buy, don’t hesitate to stop by. If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.