CONSUMER WISE: How to spot a flood damaged vehicle


After main hurricanes like Irma and Harvey, shoppers trying to purchase a used automotive have to watch out for flood-broken automobiles. It is estimated greater than a half-million will hit the market in coming months.

“There’s a racket on the market the place individuals will purchase these automobiles low cost from the public sale, re-do them, after which attempt to cross them off as a dependable clear automotive,” Toyota of Tampa Bay Service Director Gregg Willard stated. “As a vendor, I am very apprehensive, in order a shopper, you need to undoubtedly be fearful.”

Indicators of Hassle Inside

These automobiles can look OK on the surface, however injury is usually hidden on the within.

“Belief your nostril,” Willard stated. “In the event you odor mould or mildew within the automotive, it wants an additional look to see what’s inflicting it.”

In case you odor mould or mildew, it is time to search for locations unscrupulous resellers will not spend the cash to repair.

“Issues I love to do, I am going to pull up the ground mats and rub my hand, trigger there’s padding beneath the carpeting. Is it moist? Is it damp?” Willard stated demonstrating. “If I really feel moisture right here, I am going to begin pulling up the plastic panels down the aspect and search for water marks or stains there.”

It is also necessary to look beneath the seats for any brown stains or water stains on the froth padding. Willard instructed holding a small mirror up underneath the seats that will help you see higher.

“That is essential, as a result of it is one of many final locations they assume to wash,” he stated.

New carpeting in an older automotive is one other telltale signal of flood injury. It prices about $1,500 to switch carpeting in a automotive, so it is unlikely somebody will do this, until there’s water injury.

“They’re wanting to show these automobiles so fast and get them out to the buyer earlier than they will get caught. I anticipate to see these automobiles hitting our market within the subsequent 15 to 30 days!” – Toyota of Tampa Bay Service Director Gregg Willard

Additionally, remember to search for rust in key areas like door hinges, seat frames, seat brackets, and break rotors.

“It could actually occur fairly shortly, particularly if floodwater has salt in it,” Toyota of Tampa Bay store foreman Matt Fuller stated. “It may possibly truly rust inside about eight to 10 hours.”

Water logged

One other factor to verify is the spare tire nicely of a automotive. If a automotive has been in a flood, typically they overlook to wash that out, and it is actually crammed with water.

“I’ve seen it the place it is crammed utterly up,” Willard stated. “You possibly can hear the water sloshing round in there, and I truly noticed mosquito larvae floating within the water.”

Additionally, make sure to open the air filter field underneath the hood, which may maintain a few gallon of water. If the air filter is moist, that is a nasty signal.

“Sadly, this shopper drove by way of deep water,” Willard stated displaying us a humid, soiled air filter. “This automotive has been right here every week, and you may inform by the load and really feel of (the previous air filter), it is nonetheless moist.”

If somebody drives by way of floodwater that is too excessive, it will probably hydro-lock the engine, inflicting a lot injury it have to be changed. (*Watch the video above to study…



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