How to Avoid Purchasing Flood-Damaged Cars
Currently, purchasing used vehicles requires an in-depth research. The reason is that very frequently it turns out that a used car faced floods. That is to say, a lot of used car owners are stuck with flood-damaged cars. Unfortunately, when floods occur, they have a negative impact on the vehicles. Usually, even if sellers make huge efforts to repair the vehicle and make it look perfect, the ‘’scars’’ still remain. The reality is that looks may be deceiving. Thus, flood-damaged cars aren’t reliable and safe vehicles, as mechanical, as well as electrical issues may appear later. That’s why; any car buyer should have an access to the information related to the vehicle’s history. However, it is a common occurrence that some dishonest dealers intentionally conceal the fact that the vehicle has endured floods. Sadly, an increased number of flood-damaged cars are resold and sometimes car shoppers have no idea of it. Here is what you should do to avoid purchasing flood-damaged cars.
Don’t hesitate to turn to the National Insurance Crime Bureau
Are you planning to purchase a used car? Then, you had better run the vehicle’s VIN number through the database of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). It is a worthy piece of advice, as this database consists of many auto auctions, insurance companies, car finance companies, etc. If the vehicle was declared a total loss because of floods to the NICB’s companies, you can know about it. Thus, the NICB is a valuable source for revealing any dark chapter in the vehicle’s previous life. Furthermore, it is free of charge. You don’t have to pay for these services.
You need to inspect the car in a proper way
Generally speaking, it is not an easy task to detect automobiles that endured floods. Smart sellers repair it and make it look excellent. The goal is to ensure that a car shopper can’t even suspect that the vehicle spent a certain time in high waters. Consider conducting an appropriate inspection and look for certain signs that are the evidence of the vehicle’s history. In this way, consumers may minimize the risk of purchasing flood-damaged cars. This is what you should look for in a used vehicle while inspecting it:
- If you come across dried mud and mildew, it is a serious reason for concern. Also, check the engine compartment, as well as the floorboard carpet to look for any evident sign of flood damage.
- You should be cautious about strange odors. Do you feel musty odors inside the vehicle? Don’t ignore it, as this may happen because of the prolonged exposure to water. Another essential point that deserves your attention is the existence of a strong air freshener inside the vehicle. Most probably, the seller did it to cover up something.
- Pay a special attention to the vehicle’s carpets. Do you notice any differences in color that exist between lower and upper upholstery sections? Well, this is the evidence that the vehicle spent much time in the water. On the contrary, if you see the new upholstery in the used car, it may also alert that something is wrong. The dealer removed the old upholstery to conceal this fact.
- Most essentially, you should examine the vehicle’s exterior for water buildup. Did you notice that the vehicle comes with damp areas where the naturally pools? Did you see a water line in the engine compartment? It indicates that the automobile was damaged because of the flood.
Ask the trustworthy mechanic to take a close look at the automobile
Typically, a lot of used car shoppers fail to detect signs of flood damage. The wisest decision is to ask a trustworthy mechanic for help. This is an effective way to avoid purchasing flood-damaged cars. Ask the mechanic to inspect the vehicle’s undercarriage. Actually, this is the part that is considerably affected by the flood damage.
Finally, the key to avoiding purchasing flood-damaged cars is to ignore deals that are too good to be true. Do you suspect that you bought a vehicle that faced flood damages? You can contact the NICB or the auto insurance company. If you need legal assistance, consider hiring an experienced attorney who can help you find the best solution in this situation.