Auto Experts: Beware Of Flood-damaged Autos
Looking for a new car involves considering different areas, factors, and features of an automobile. Safety, fuel efficiency, and performance are just some of the things car buyers need to consider to ensure that they will be driving a vehicle that suits them perfectly.
Auto experts though has reported that prospective car buyers should also check for water damage on the car they are planning to buy and they do mean flood water to be exact. After the damaging effects of Hurricane Katrina, car experts fear that the auto market in the United States is proliferated by flood-damaged vehicles. With regards to this, they warn car buyers to avoid buying a car which has suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina and other smaller floods across the country.
Bryan Gregory, the Director of Consumer Education for Advanced Auto Parts, has this to say about the influx of flood-damaged vehicles in the United States auto market: ?Auto industry experts estimate that as many as 400,000 vehicles may have been damaged by Hurricane Katrina alone. Add to that total the number of vehicles caught in countless smaller floods that occur across the country each year and you have a significant flood-damaged vehicle population that consumers need to be on the lookout for.?
Staying way from flood-damaged vehicles needs a thorough inspection of the vehicle on the part of the buyer. Although the tell tale signs of flood damaged is relatively hard to spot, auto experts want to arm car buyers with the proper information to spot these damages. ?Flood damage can be hard to spot, unless you know what you’re looking for. The time to spot a car that’s been in a flood is before you purchase it, because once it’s in your driveway and the flood-related mechanical problems start to show up, it’s too late for most consumers,? says Gregory.
These damages may not show themselves yet right after you buy a car but in the long run, these damages will play a major role in the shortening of a vehicle’s lifespan. Since all new vehicles released in the U.S. market are equipped with electronic components, these features should be checked properly before buying a car. The vehicle’s onboard computer can be permanently damaged by flood water as well as airbag sensors. That alone poses a very high potential risk to consumers.
If an airbag sensor is damaged, when needed, the airbag can no longer protect the occupants of a vehicle, endangering them of severe injuries or even death. Some other electrical components like Volvo window motors can also be damaged by flood water, but these damages can readily be checked unlike the status of an airbag sensor.
One of the most telling signs that a car is flood-damaged is molds in the vehicle or a musty smell. This, of course, is the effect of the prolonged exposure to dirty flood water. New upholstery and carpets can also mean that these are replaced due to the damage of flood water on the original upholstery or carpets. Rust on the interior of a vehicle is also a sign that the vehicle is flood-damaged.
Auto experts also advise car buyers to inspect the air box for mud or water residue. Consumers can do this by simply removing the air filter of a vehicle. Waterlines on the bulb or lenses of headlamps and taillights are also telltale sign that the car was submerged at one time or another under a flood.
Aside from keeping away from flood-damaged vehicles, Gregory also advises car owners to prevent their cars from being victims of a flood. According to Gregory, ?In addition to knowing how to avoid buying a flood-damaged vehicle, drivers should also take steps to prevent their own vehicle from becoming a flood victim. The number one action drivers can take to avoid water damage to their vehicle, and possible personal injury or death, is to never, ever attempt to drive through water that is covering a road, no matter how shallow or slow-moving it appears. Also avoid parking in areas prone to flash flooding and close your vehicle’s windows when rain threatens.?