Flood Damaged Vehicles - How To Avoid One
ATLANTA --Among the many perils used-car shoppers face is buying a flood-damaged vehicle.
"Consumers should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try to sell salvaged and flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle history," said David Claeys, purchasing manager of retailer CarMax.
To avoid this, here are a few tips experts say shoppers can follow:
• Check for a moldy smell in the car and feel the carpet for dampness.
• Be suspicious of an older car with a brand-new interior or carpeting.
• Look for rust under the brake or gas pedal.
• Check for rust or dirt under the dashboard or floor mats.
• Check under the seats for signs of rust on the bolts or screws.
• Examine the undercarriage to see if there is excessive rust.
• Look in the trunk under the carpet in the spare-tire well for dirt, sand or rust.
• Check for corrosion, water marks or a thin brown line on the exterior.
• Make sure the electrical system works.
• Check the vehicle-identification number with a vehicle-history service such as AutoCheck or CarFax to see if a flood claim has been filed or a salvage title has been issued on the car.
If you think you may have purchased a flood damaged vehicle, contact an attorney in your state who could help you.
Rob Douthit, Cox News Service