Buying a used car? Then make sure you aren’t buying one with hidden flood damage.
When Hurricanes Harvey and Irma swept through the country, thousands of cars were affected. Unfortunately, many of these damaged cars will be sold to unsuspecting future buyers, placing them at considerable risk. As floodwater can damage a car’s engine, transmission, drive train, and electric computer system, flood damaged cars can be unreliable and can even be a safety hazard while on the road. Want to protect yourself as you shop for a used vehicle? Then here’s how you can identify a flood damaged car.
- Check the Vehicle Identification Number
Whenever you are looking at a potential vehicle, make sure you check the vehicle’s identification number with a database such as CarFax, Experian’s Auto Check, or the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VinCheck. This will show the vehicle’s history report which may reveal that the vehicle has flood damage or was given a salvaged title (the car was deemed a total loss by an insurance company due to serious damage). If you see issues such as these, then you know that the car you are considering isn’t a safe investment.
- Inspect the Car’s Interior
If the car has a musty, mildew odor, then this is an indication that the vehicle has been affected by flood. Additionally, if you notice dirt build-up in odd locations such as under the dashboard, then this is also an indication of flood damage. It is also advised that you pull back carpeting to look for water staining and investigate inside the glove box and between the seats for sludge or other residual debris.
- Get a Professional Opinion
While you might be able to catch obvious signs of flood damage, you should seek a professional opinion on used vehicles that seem okay. Oftentimes, a professional mechanic can identify issues or small details that you missed during your initial inspection.
These are some of the steps that you should take to ensure that you are not buying a flood damaged vehicle. Once you find the right car for you, it’s important to make sure that you protect it with the right auto insurance. To find the right policies for you, contact the experts at Reata Insurance Group. We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.