In addition to many homes and local businesses being destroyed by the recent hurricanes, an estimated half a million vehicles in Texas were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. You may have heard about all of the flood-damaged cars turning up for sale by unscrupulous dealers and individuals, but how does flooding actually damage your car?
Some vehicles affected by flooding are no longer drivable and are used for spare parts. Others are branded as flood-damaged and are issued a salvage title. The problem is that many sellers of flood-damaged vehicles don’t identify this condition and actually try to hide that fact from prospective buyers.
One of the main ways a flood can damage your vehicle is by causing mold and mildew to grow inside it. One way to tell if a vehicle may have been flooded is to close all of the vehicle’s windows and doors for a few minutes and then open it up and see if it smells suspicious.
If the car smells too fresh you can also consider that cause for concern as something is likely being covered up. That mold and mildew can be hazardous to your health and can eat away at certain parts of the vehicle causing more problems in the future.
Flood waters damage the upholstery and carpeting of vehicles. If they are loose, stained, brand new, or don’t match you may be looking at a flood-damaged car. Flooding also causes rust, so check under the dashboard, around the doors, inside the hood and trunk latches, and on the pedals.
Water inside the dashboard may also cause instrument panel lights not to illuminate, so you won’t know when your vehicle needs to be repaired. There may also be visible water lines in the headlights and taillights, which can be expensive to replace.
Before you buy a car that you suspect may be flood-damaged, have it inspected by a trusted mechanic. You can also check a vehicle history report to make sure the car is not listed as being flood-damaged.
Call Storm Smart today at 239-274-2700.