Just because you don’t live in an area that is prone to flash flooding, hurricanes, or torrential rains doesn’t mean you should not worry about water damage when checking out a used car. Many vehicles each year sustain significant water damage and are then transported thousands of miles away to areas such as Livingston County, to be sold. Vehicles that have been involved in flooding often appear, on the outside, to be in perfect condition when in reality they have sustained major water damage. This article will provide you with tips on determining if the car you are looking into is a water damaged lemon or a certifiable good deal.
1) Before you spend a dime on mechanics, vehicle reports, or the vehicle itself do a little private eye investigation on the vehicle itself.
• Sit in the vehicle – Does it have a unique wet smell? Can you spot any obvious signs of mold, mildew or rust? The dash board and closed compartments are good hiding spots.
• Turn the vehicle on – Is everything in properly working order? Do the lights turn on inside the car? Do the wipers work? Is the heater blowing hot air? How about the air conditioning?
• Step out of the vehicle and bend down – Check out underneath the floor mats, feel the floor boards. Are they damp? Can you see visible rings of dried puddles of water? Do you see a buildup of mud or dirt? Look and see if the screws that hold the door panels and dashboard have signs of rust. These are all signs of water damage.
• Bend a little further – Is there any rust build up or signs of corrosion on the undercarriage? Can you see damage that looks unique to a vehicle in particular to the model or age of the car?
2) After a little self inspection it should be easy to determine whether or not you should pursue any further action toward the purchase of a vehicle. If you determine the vehicle looks good to you go ahead and hire a trusted mechanic to inspect the vehicle. They have a trained eye for what to expect from a used vehicle and will know what damage to look for especially when it comes to water damage.
3) Lastly, do a little title research before you hand over that check. If a vehicle has had any type of water damage the vehicle history report will have it listed.
4) If all the above check out you can certainly drive away feeling confident that you have purchase a vehicle clear of any water damage.