Experts Warn Of Potential Flood-Damaged Cars Hitting The Market After Major Hurricanes

The floodwaters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that recently slammed parts of Texas and Florida didn’t hit just people and real estate. Hundreds of thousands of cars were wiped and now, Yahoo News reports the potential rise in flood-damaged vehicles, full of hidden dangers, hitting the market. Some car owners may try to hide the signs of flood damage to their car before trying to resell them. Experts advised that before buying a used car to get a full vehicle history report on the vehicle and take it to a mechanic who can look at it closely for hidden signs of trouble.

1. Check a vehicle’s title history using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or a commercially available vehicle history report service, such as Experian or Carfax, etc. Reports may state whether a vehicle has been flood damaged.

2. Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.

3. Check for recently shampooed carpeting.

4. Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.

5. Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.

6. Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.

7. Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.

8. Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.

9. Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.

10. Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late model vehicles.