Beware of Flood Damaged Cars!


College students in the market for a quality, low cost late model car need to be on the look out for vehicles which were flood damaged, but are being sold to unsuspecting consumers. Over the past few Flood Damaged Caryears hurricane damaged vehicles that were destroyed by Katrina and Rita have made it to the market and this year, thanks to hurricanes Gustav and Ike, thousands more are likely to become available for sale.

In some cases salvaged vehicles aren’t illegal to sell, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll want one. Carmax, the largest retailer of used cars in the country, recently sent out an alert to consumers to be aware of the problem while underscoring that the company doesn’t participate in the practice of selling flood damaged cars.

“Consumers should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try to sell salvaged and flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle history,” said Gary Hickman, purchasing manager for CarMax in Houston, Texas. “Flood-damaged cars that are not structurally or mechanically sound could be repaired, re-titled, and sold to unsuspecting buyers.”

CarMax’s car-buying team offers ten tips for identifying a vehicle with possible flood damage:

1. Check for a moldy smell inside the car and feel the carpet for dampness
2. Ask questions about an older car with a brand new interior or carpeting
3. Check for rust under the brake or gas pedals
4. Look for dirt or rust under the dashboard and floor mats
5. Inspect the bolts and screws under the seats for evidence of rust
6. Check the undercarriage for excessive rust
7. Check inside the trunk under the carpet in the spare tire well area for rust, dirt or sand
8. Look for corrosion, water marks, or a thin brown line on the exterior of the vehicle
9. Check to see if the electrical system works
10. Check the VIN number with AutoCheck or Carfax to see whether a flood claim has been filed or a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle

CarMax offers a free vehicle history report for every car that they sell and for people who choose to buy a car elsewhere, CarFax can provide similar assistance for a fee.

Yes, that Screaming Yellow 2006 Ford Mustang GT is a real beauty, but what’s that damp odor coming from the trunk? Better get its vehicle history report before falling in love with what could be a salvaged vehicle.


Adv. — If you’re shopping for an auto loan, you’ll want to compare offers and find the auto protection you need to ensure that your investment lasts for many years.


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Categories: Campus Cars