How to Spot a Flood-Damaged Vehicle

by Lithium Technologies ‎03-25-2015 11:15 AM - edited ‎04-16-2015 05:11 PM (1,814 Views)

In the market for a used car? Before you buy, check the CARFAX report and follow these tips to identify a flood-damaged vehicle.

 

Tens of thousands of cars are damaged by floods each year, and more than half end up back on the road. Flood damage can leave drivers at risk by corroding air-bag systems, contaminating fluids, ruining brakes and more without leaving visible signs. Before you buy a used car, be sure to obtain a CARFAX Vehicle History Report at AAA.com/CARFAX (AAA Members save 20%), which can reveal if the vehicle has been in a flood, as well as if the car has been recalled but not fixed. Here are some additional steps you can take to avoid purchasing a water-damaged vehicle:

 

Know the Tell-Tale Signs

Check the hard-to-clean areas, such as underneath the spare tire, for mud or corrosion. Look for water stains and mildew on carpeting and floor mats. Also, brittle wires under the dashboard often indicate that water flooded the vehicle.

 

Follow Your Instincts

Ask the seller about the vehicle’s history, and if you don’t like the answers, walk away. If you’re unsure, check the CARFAX report for peace of mind.

 

Find a Trustworthy Mechanic

Before you buy, have the vehicle inspected at the nearest AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.

 

To find an Approved Auto Repair shop, visit AAA.com/AARFor added peace of mind, use the AAA Car Buying Service, which helps you make smart vehicle purchases by providing deals, reviews, tips, complimentary CARFAX reports and more.

 

 

A version of this story appears in the May/June 2012 and March/April 2015 issues of AAA Living magazine.

 

Image credit/source: Thinkstock

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