Avoiding Flood Damaged Cars

cars in flood water during Hurricane Harvey

After the recent catastrophic storms in the southern United States, it is estimated that as many as 500,000 cars may have been flooded and seriously damaged.  A large percentage of these vehicles will find their way into the market for re-sale.

Although state motor vehicle registries “brand” cars that were flooded and change the car’s title to a salvage or junk title, or even a flood title, dishonest sellers will wash the vehicle’s title
by moving it through states with differing regulations.

The National Automobile Dealers Association has the following tips on how to minimize the risk of buying one of these cars:

Be alert to unusual odors.

They may a symptom of mildew build up.  You should also be aware of any strong cleaning solution scent which may indicate that the seller is trying to mask a bad smell.

Look for discolored carpeting. 

Large stains or differences in color may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle.

Examine the exterior for water buildup.

Signs may include fogging inside headlamps or taillights.

Inspect the undercarriage.

Look for signs of rust and flaking metal.

Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas.

These include areas around the seat tracks, or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment.

Of course, the old adage is true. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that as a credit union member and buyer, you can rely on We Drive, our free car-buying service. We Drive will use Carfax and other resources to unearth compromised vehicles. In addition, We Drive will deal only with reputable dealers and scrupulous third-party vendors. When you purchase through We Drive, you can rest assured that they have your interest at heart and will never knowingly jeopardize your safety with a damaged vehicle. If you have questions on this or any other car related issues, contact We Drive at 954-691-2277.