Due to monstrous hurricane Irma and hurricane Harvey that hit USA, hundreds of thousands of car was flooded completely. Sadly, large majority of it is back on the market across the USA, selling as a completely normal car, and nobody will tell you it’s been flooded. Floodwater damages the interior mechanical parts such as the engine, transmission and drive train of vehicles as well as their electric computer systems, making them dangerously unreliable and a safety hazard on the road.
In order to prevent you from being scammed, we talked with our friend Sam, owner of one of the biggest dealership in the States and asked him on some advice on how to check if vehicle were flooded or not.
VI: Hi Sam, how’s going? Due to Irma and Harvey we’re now flooded with flooded cars. How can we recognize those cars in order not to get scammed?
Sam: Hello, doing fine, hopefully you’re same. Those monstrous events were quite a punch to our nation, but we need to stick together in order to came out of that as a victorious. Same thing goes with flooded cars. We need to know that there are flooded cars on the market and know how to spot them. Mainly because of safety, because those cars aren’t functional and safe as they should be.
VI: So you say, that beside for paying full price for apparently damaged car, we’re putting our life at risk if we buy flooded car?
Sam: Exactly! That’s why is important to spot them. It’s not hard, I’ll give you some tips, pretty easy to follow!
First thing you should notice are unusual odors. That’s an alert sign! Musty or moldy odors inside the car are a sign of mildew buildup from prolonged exposure to water. It might be coming from an area the seller is unable to completely clean. Beware of a strong air freshener or cleaning solution scent since it may indicate the seller is trying to cover up something. Run the air-conditioner to see if a moldy smell comes from the vents.
If you suspect that car was flooded you should definitely check VIN number & run a report. Find vehicle VIN number (where to find VIN) and run a vehicle report on it. It will show you whether the car was reported for flood or salvage. Most of those owners reported flood so they could get insurance money, and now they are selling those cars, not knowing that it’s all stated in vehicle report. Also, if it’s shown that car is from the previously flooded area, that could be alert sign and you should pay extra attention to the other stuff. You can get report at VIN Insights, because they have the most up to date database of vehicles, and flooded cars will surely show that on report.
Check out for discolored carpeting. Large stains or differences in color between lower and upper upholstery sections may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle. A used car with brand-new upholstery is also a warning sign since a seller may have tried to remove the flood-damaged upholstery altogether.
Also make sure to Examine the exterior for water buildup. Signs may include fogging inside headlamps or taillights and damp or muddy areas where water naturally pools, such as overhangs inside the wheel well. A water line might be noticeable in the engine compartment or the trunk, indicating that the car sat in standing water.
Last but not the least investigate wiring and review if rubber drain was recently removed. If electrical wiring has rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion, that’s your sign. Car was flooded. Also, if rubber drain appears like they’ve been removed, that’s almost certain sign of flood.
VI: Once again, ton of knowledge from you Sam. I think this is one of the most useful interviews we’ve done so far. Thanks once again!