Flood Cars In The US Jump 20% Since Last Year

How to Spot a Flood-Damaged Car

Thousands of flood-damaged cars expected to flood used car market

Pennsylvania ranked third with 20,000 flood-damaged vehicles, followed by Florida (19,000) and Kentucky (16,000).

There may not be a more risky time to buy a used vehicle.

"Our data shows there's still much work to be done in helping consumers avoid buying flood damaged cars", Dick Raines, president of Carfax, said.

Generally speaking, when it comes to buying a used vehicle in a private sale, it's important to take the time and ask lots of questions. "We lost $16,000 over all of it".

But the bureau is cautioning buyers to "be particularly careful in the coming weeks and months as thousands of Harvey-damaged vehicles may reappear for sale in their areas", a problem that also occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Up to one million cars suffered flood damage during hurricanes Irma and Harvey, according to Cox Automotive, parent company of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. "There are plenty of used vehicles that you can find that don't have water damage", said Newman. "Health concerns are an added problem, as mold and bacteria permeate the soft parts of the auto".

Vehicle plows into crowd at Boise Spectrum
Eyewitness video of the incident showed the Porsche spinning sideways before striking pedestrians. Six people were transported to the hospital by ambulance, and five went in private vehicles.

"You want to look for signs inside the vehicle, like rust on the nuts and bolts, seat rails and seat belts, for signs that water may have gotten into that auto, as well as looking in the trunk and engine compartment", Basso said. These are areas where it is hard to get all the moisture out, and you just may feel something wet - even a long time after the auto flooded.

Finally, experts recommend someone always get a used vehicle inspected by a mechanic before purchase.

But hiding flood damage isn't that hard, and unscrupulous dealers and individuals can deceive potential buyers through "title washing" - registering the vehicles in states where the title brands did not transfer. Based in London, IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions. If you haven't already, make sure to test all of the buttons, switches, electrical systems, etc. Try to listen for any abnormal grinding or squealing noises, and make sure to test it out at varying speeds. Is there water in the spare tire - a place a cleaner might have missed? Beware of a strong air freshener or cleaning solution scent since it may indicate the seller is trying to cover up something. "Corrosion is uncommon in new vehicles and those that are owned and operated in warmer climate areas", the AAA said in a statement to the press.

Taking a look underneath the vehicle and spotting any kind of rust is also a good way to tell if the vehicle has been damaged by floodwater.

Check for things like moisture in trunk spaces where water will collect easier. These include areas such as around the seat tracks or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment.

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