Owning a car may just well be everyone’s dream. People would even consider buying used cars just to make their dreams come true. However, buying a car is not as easy as 1-2-3. Dangers lurk especially if what you are buying is a second-hand car.
Vehicles, just like homes, are especially prone to flood damage brought about by storms, swelling rivers and hurricanes. Statistics show that about 75,000 vehicles have been damaged by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, while Hurricane Ivan left more than 100,000 vehicles unusable. Hurricane Katrina had brought flood damage to about 200,000 cars in 2005. These, however, are just part of the bigger problem.
Cars that have experienced water damage restoration are usually repaired and appear 100% usable to the untrained eye and are usually moved to nearby states where they are sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Flood can damage a vehicle’s electrical systems and can cause malfunction in the anti-lock braking system as well as the airbag systems. Aside from this, a flood damaged-car can also pose health problem since prioe to the water damage restorions procedures they have probably been exposed to numerous bacteria and fungi like e-coli and leptospira.
Here are some tips on how to avoid cars that have suffered flood damage:
* Check the interior of the car for any sign of flood damage. Some of these signs could include silt, gravel, mud and rust. Look under the trunk, in the glove compartment and around the dashboard. Feel the carpet for any sign of dampness. A damp carpet may mean that the wirings underneath it have also been exposed to flood waters.
* Check whether upholstery and carpeting fit snugly. If appears to be somewhat loose, it may have already been replaced. Any discoloration, stain or fading could also mean flood damage.
* Check if accessories, warning lights and gauges are working properly. Airbag and ABS lights should come on.
* To make sure that they work, test the interior as well as exterior lights, windshield wipers, signals, cigarette lighter, radio, and air conditioner for several minutes.
* Test-drive the car. This would ensure that there are no knocking sounds and that everything works fine.
* Try to bend the wires beneath the dashboard. If there are cracks, there is a great probability of flood damage.
* Smell for musty odors. Flood-damaged vehicles usually have a distinct musty scent due to the presence of mildew.
* Nobody needs to tell you that mold means flood damage. If you see one inside the vehicle, do not proceed in buying the vehicle.
* Have trusted automotive mechanic go through the vehicle first before letting go of your hard-earned money.
* Know you car’s vehicle history. You can ask this from the dealer of you can check the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and have it checked through carfax or through AutoCheck.
* Make it a habit to buy from reputable car dealers only.
If you are into rebuilding and repairing water damaged vehicles, flood-damaged cars might mean fun for you rather than a headache. However, if you prefer vehicles that have not been damaged, or have neede water damage restoration on the past then the tips above can help you avoid serious mistake. Make sure that you have all the information before making any move!
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