Houstonians rely greatly on their cars and trucks, largely because of our city's vast size and minimal public transportation options. However, over 19,000 of area vehicles experienced some form of vehicle flood damage during the historic Tax Day floods of 2016. While some of these flooded vehicles were completely submerged and sent to salvage yards, many were cleaned up and resold to unsuspecting buyers or used car lots. Today's blog post examines how vehicle buyers can avoid purchasing a vehicle with hidden flood damage, as well as the warning signs to look for.
Purchase Only From Reputable Places
One of the best ways for car shoppers to avoid being tricked into purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle is to only buy cars and trucks from reputable sellers or established dealerships. Often large dealerships and established resale locations will perform in-depth inspections on used vehicles to ensure they aren't purchasing flood vehicles either. To give buyers peace of mind, they may also offer warranties based on years or mileage to ensure the customer is purchasing a vehicle that will last for many years to come. On the contrary, less reputable or sketchy sellers will be deceptive about possible flood damage, by either not disclosing flood damage, trying to hide damages by repairing or replacing flooded components, or even by changing serial numbers on the vehicle.
Inspect The Interior
Often, peeking inside a flood-damaged vehicle for just a minute can reveal the extent of the car's overall flood damages. Despite the best efforts of a dishonest seller, a flooded vehicle can still show signs of flood damage, but potential buyers must first know where to look and what to check. For example, a flooded vehicle might have new interior carpet and seats installed, but may still have sediment or water stains inside the glove box or at the very bottom of seat belts. Also, vehicles with flood damage may have signs of rust around the doorframe, inside the hood, in the wheel well holding the spare tire, or even on the foot pedals themselves. An in-depth inspection of the car's interior can quickly indicate to you or a mechanic inspecting the car the extent of possible flood damages.
Test It All
When purchasing any vehicle, it's natural to want to test drive it first to make sure it drives well and is a good fit for the driver's needs. However, a typical test drive might not result in all functions or features getting properly tested. It is crucial for potential buyers to test all aspects of the car and its engine before agreeing to purchase. This can provide peace of mind as well as confirmation that all vehicle features are working as they should. Potential buyers should drive the car for as long as possible, testing the engine, brakes, engine oil, air conditioning and heater, door speakers, interior and exterior lights, cruise control, radio, windshield wipers, automatic windows and locks, GPS or navigation systems, and any additional technology features that are included.
Buying a car can be a fun experience, but hidden flood damage can quickly turn a fun experience into an expensive and frustrating nightmare for car owners. In-depth and proactive vehicle inspections can help potential car or truck buyers avoid bringing home a lemon, and instead help them identify their dream car. Aegis can also help new or used car buyers by offering affordable, reliable, and top quality Personal Auto Insurance. The friendly and knowledgeable team at Aegis works to provide a customized insurance solution for individuals and families to meet their unique needs, offering great insurance at competitive rates. Contact Aegis today at 713-850-7622 for more information, or go online to request a free quote!