Your BBB would like to warn tristate area residents that, with hurricanes Harvey and Irma affecting various parts of the country, flooded cars will be up for sale pretty soon. However, not every car dealership or private seller will disclose this aspect, so you may want to pay attention to a few signs of flooding:
If the carpets have a musty smell, signs of discoloration or, on the contrary, the carpets seem like they’ve just been replaced, the car may have been flooded previously.
Check the entire car for debris
Look at the gaps between panels in the trunk, under the hood, air vents etc. If you find mud, that’s another red flag.
Read the car’s title carefully
Check the date and place at which the car was transferred from the previous owner. Was this area affected by hurricanes and storms? If the answer is yes, that’s a potential red flag.
And we mean everything, from the AC vents to the lights, brakes, windshield wipers, turn signals, sound system and so on.
Lookup the car dealership’s profile on bbb.org
See if there are any complaints, read reviews and make an informed decision.
Go ahead and ask the seller if the car has been damaged by floodwater or not. If they hesitate to give you an answer, that’s another red flag!
Run a vehicle history report based on its VIN number
This report should provide all the information you need regarding the vehicle.
Have a trusted mechanic inspect the wiring
You can never be too sure, so ask a mechanic you trust to do a full screening of the car’s electrical system. Make sure to share this information with your friends and family so that they too can be warned. And remember: for car dealerships and mechanics you can trust, visit bbb.org!