Buying from a private owner always comes with some risk. Due to hurricanes Florence and Michael (and the line of storms behind them) there may be an added risk that potential buyers may not be aware of.
The first hurricane of the season to make landfall has made quite an impact & caused substantial flooding all throughout the Carolina’s. Property damages and losses abound and many families are working to get back to a sense of normalcy. What does this have to do with buying a car? It means you need to double check the details of any vehicle you’re considering.
Where To Begin
Start off by looking into Carfax or Kelly Blue Book to see if it is from any of the heavily flooded areas and the history. If it is, there is a possibility of it having some unforeseen damages. Many states will issue a flood title which can be found in the history of any vehicle. Unfortunately, it takes time for these to process which makes it possible for owners to try and get rid of a car and make a little extra money. It’s also possible for a car to be remodeled and receive a new title. You’ll be able to spot the difference in this extreme case by checking the VIN number, which will no longer match. With all of this craziness, how can you be sure? A visual assessment should be your next step.
Signs of flood damage
There are some definite signs of damage due to flooding, however, it is never 100% positive. So while these signs don’t exactly mean flood damage, they should at the very least raise concern.
The one you’ll likely notice right away is a musty odor. This is caused from water seeping in and sitting. Some other areas to check if you notice this smell are the head/tail lights. If from an area that was flooded, the lights will either have water or condensation in them. Powers doors or windows may not function properly. You should also look for mud in the spare tire well. All of these are areas that aren’t usually thought of but are big indicators.
If you’re still not quite sure, you can give us a call and we’ll help you determine whether or not it’s a safe buy!
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