As the rain and flooding continue throughout the Carolinas, buyers need to beware of purchasing vehicles that could have undisclosed flood damage. Typically, insurance companies total vehicles seriously damaged in a flood and sell them to salvage companies. However, some of these vehicles are purchased and restored by individuals for resale.
A certified mechanic should inspect a used vehicle before you purchase it, especially if flooding was recent. New upholstery, fresh paint and air fresheners can mask a flood damaged vehicle on the surface, but a certified mechanic will be able to assess the damage. A pre-purchase inspection at a AAA auto repair facility is the best protection against purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle.
As part of their inspection the shop will look for frequent indicators of damage like damp or musty odors inside the vehicle. They will pull back the carpet in different areas and look for mud, dirt or signs of water stains and recent shampooing. Inspectors will look at the underside of the dashboard for signs of dirt and mud, as this area is difficult to clean. They will open all doors, the hood and the trunk and inspect for corrosion and grime, paying attention to door frames, hinges and under the weather stripping. Inspectors will also check all electrical components to make sure they are working properly.
Prospective buyers can also avoid flood damaged vehicles by purchasing a vehicle history report. The report will usually indicate if the vehicle has been in a flood or another major problem in its past.
If you want peace of mind when you buy a vehicle, contact AAA Auto Buying. Our experts will find you a safe, damage-free car you'll love at a price you can afford.
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