How to spot a flood-damaged car - New York News

How to spot a flood-damaged car

Posted: Updated:
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

Car buyers beware: Superstorm Sandy can put a big damper on your upcoming vehicle purchase. Flooded vehicles are showing up all over auction blocks and online retailers.

Chris Basso of CARFAX is a flood damage expert when it comes to cars. He says some of the signs of having a flooded out car can be pretty obvious. He took a look at one of our news trucks took a major beating from Hurricane Sandy.

Chris says if you look along the back firewall you can see a water line along the back side that shows water was clearly in the engine compartment. Plus you can see rust on the engine. Those are pretty obvious. But there are other tip-offs you can see before you even open the door;

"Look at the window all the condensation that's built up on here, clearly this thing has been under water," Chris says.

But there's more. You could hide the rust. Maybe even wipe off the condensation, but take a whiff.

"The smell is your first clue that this car was under water," Chris says. "It's just almost unbearable, but you can see standing water in the cup holders here."

But what if you take the car to a good detailer?

"It's a temporary fix, it's a temporary fix," says Debbie Bjorkner of Auto Detailing Center. "But you're dealing with your health also, inhaling mold spores, you have children that are in these cars and their lungs aren't fully developed even as youngsters."

While Debbie says she'd never clean up a car just to dupe a buyer, there are those who do it. So, trust your nose.

But here's something only a mechanic can fix: condensation inside the headlights. It is impossible to hide without replacing the light.

Cracked insulation is also a problem. But, for a couple of grand all the insulation in the car could be replaced and you may not know the difference.

Tony Rota, the owner of Log Cabin Service, always reports repairs to CARFAX. But he says some repair shops see a quick buck.

If you think you don't have to worry about getting a flood-damaged car if you live in a place that was never flooded, think again.

Chris from CARFAX says flood-damaged cars, rotting from the inside out, are already showing up thousands of miles away;

CARFAX usually shows accidents, flood damage and repairs. And the car's title is supposed to show it too. But if you retitle the car in another state, the title may come back clean with no reference to flood damage. It's called title washing.

So there is a lot to look out for.

CARFAX does have a free service on its website if you want to find out if a car may be damaged in a flood. All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number.

www.carfax.com

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:54 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:54:31 GMT
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
  • iPad sales decline

    Are tablets already on their way out?

    Are tablets already on their way out?

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:50 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:50:16 GMT

    Four years ago, tablet owners starting raving about the market's newest piece of mobile technology. Last quarter, Apple iPad sales fell by 9 percent. Still, forecasting the death of the tablet seems premature and incorrect. More likely, all our devices are cross-breeding and evolving until all our calling, emailing, texting, messaging, Internetting, TV watching, all our communication happens on one mobile gadget.


    Four years ago, tablet owners starting raving about the market's newest piece of mobile technology. Last quarter, Apple iPad sales fell by 9 percent. Still, forecasting the death of the tablet seems premature and incorrect. More likely, all our devices are cross-breeding and evolving until all our calling, emailing, texting, messaging, Internetting, TV watching, all our communication happens on one mobile gadget.
  • Cooler inventor raises $7 million in two weeks

    Cooler inventor raises $7 million in two weeks

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:24:47 GMT

    What is being described as the coolest cooler of the 21st century is getting a lot of backers via Kickstarter.  Ryan Grepper, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, says he was tired of regular coolers.

    What is being described as the coolest cooler of the 21st century is getting a lot of backers via Kickstarter.  Ryan Grepper, an inventor from Portland, Oregon, says he was tired of regular coolers.

Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices