8 Tips for Avoiding Flood-Damaged Cars

Flooded Vintage Car in Midwest
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How to Avoid Buying a Flooded Car 

In the aftermath of flooding across the Midwest, the immediate concern is for the safety of the people affected and the recovery of the area. However, as the water recedes, we can expect to begin to see flood-damaged vehicles on the used car market. Hundreds of thousands of cars will have extreme water damage. If you’re looking to buy a used car, water damage is something you should absolutely be aware of.

Used car research firm Carfax estimates that more than 50 percent of cars that are damaged by a flood are eventually resold. Flood-damaged cars are easy to spot by experts, although the flood damage is often easy to conceal from the untrained eye. By cleaning up the outside of a car and quickly swapping out the carpet, unethical sellers can move their problem cars onto you.

Repairing a waterlogged car is usually more difficult than simple cosmetic fixes, and unrepaired issues can affect a car’s safety, reliability, and long-term durability. Mold and mildew growing in a car’s soft materials can compromise the health of both adults and children. Waterlogged airbags might not deploy in an accident, and salt water can break down the fabric used in seatbelts, leading them to fail in an accident.

Unless you are very sure that you have identified all of the flood issues and are certain the repair work that has been undertaken has addressed all of the possible damage, it is recommended that you avoid buying a flood-damaged car, regardless of the deal you are offered.

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