Don’t Get Sloshed By a Storm-Damaged Vehicle

Think about all those waterlogged vehicles shown on the news during hurricanes, floods, and other intense storms. Those cars and trucks could end up on a dealer lot near you—even if you live nowhere near the areas affected by the storm.

Flood-damaged vehicles can appear on lots all over the country, often priced very low but with no disclosure from sellers about storm damage. You might think you’ve found a great deal but, without a critical eye, you could drive off the lot with vehicle problems waiting to happen.

Take precautions before you buy a used vehicle:

* Get the history. Obtain a vehicle history report through a service like Carfax. You also can use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to check the vehicle’s status through the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VINCheck tool.

* Check the vehicle. Look for soot, grime, and other signs of water damage. On the flip side, if a vehicle looks unusually clean–particularly under the hood–it should be another red flag.

* Trust your nose. Damage from water and sewage can create a musty odor. Sellers may try to mask it, so if you smell strong deodorizer or air freshener, it could be the scent of trouble.

* Drive it. Pay attention to the way the car handles and sounds during a test drive. Squeaking or grinding is a bad sign.

* Get hands-on. Feel all surfaces for dampness and dirt.

* Consult a mechanic. A professional can detect problems you wouldn’t necessarily notice.

Once you find a car that checks out, head to Hopewell Federal Credit Union for your financing. Speak to a loan specialist today to learn more about our affordable rates.

One Response

  1. Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed by and done her bidding farewells to the people, we’re now left in the economy with thousands of storm damaged cars. This will plague the industry.

    -Evergreen Junk Cars

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