When shopping for a used car, one has to be careful regarding the vehicle being considered. While the seller may seem nice, who isn’t when they’re trying to sell you something? Water damage remains one of the worst possible issues involved in purchasing a used car or truck. Flooding can damage the vehicle’s frame and interior in a variety of ways, which is why anyone currently in the market for a used vehicle should know the warning signs, and steer clear of any vehicle exhibiting any of them! After all, though you may be walking away from a great deal, it’s always better to be safe when making this kind of investment!
The electrical system can also be permanently damaged when water damage has occurred. And, if you thought auto repairs were already expensive, try chasing down an electrical problem during diagnosis…
Water Damage Warning Signs
The next time you’re considering purchasing a used car, remember these warning signs:
(1) “Musty” smell in the car
Cars that have been exposed to a flood will often carry signs of the damage. But, one of your best assets to determine such a thing isn’t your eyes – it’s your nose! The musty smell will be a dead giveaway that you need to move onto the next vehicle.
Rust occurs over time, whether we like it or not. However, excessive rusting in the wheel wells or along the underside of the chassis can be a HUGE indicator that something isn’t right. Run your hand along the edges of the vehicle, just to see if you can feel where any “cover ups” have been applied.
(3) Wiring and Lighting System
The electrical system is usually one of the common casualties when a vehicle has been subjected to a flood. Though many components can dry out over time, the wiring will often dry out with it, making the wires brittle. If show signs of cracking when you handle them, run!
Also, take note of the dashboard lights and head/tail light assemblies. Do they work properly? When you turn the battery on, does everything appear normal? Taking a few minutes to check out the vehicle’s electrical system can save you quite a headache in the very near future.
Don’t be afraid to take your time and check the vehicle thoroughly. While you may get met with some impatience from the seller, remember…it’s your money! Heck, it might soon be YOUR car. It never hurts to take the extra time to explore the chassis, and search for any signs that the car or truck has been submerged in flooding water!