With recent flooding in Tennessee and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, I thought it was important to share with you some things to look for when purchasing a used car or truck so that you are sure it’s not flood damaged. Flood damage at times can be difficult to detect but I am hoping these tips from Consumer Reports will help you when you are on your search. You can always get a Car Fax report on the used vehicle you are researching or call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer if you have questions.
Here are some hints on what to look for:
- Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
- Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed, not generally a part of normal maintenance.
- Inspect the lights. Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace, and a visible water line may still show on the lens or reflector.
- Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Waterborne mud and debris may still appear in these places.
- Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels, where it wouldn’t settle naturally.
- Look at the heads of any unpainted exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
- Check if the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors look as if they have been removed recently. It may have been done to drain floodwater.
- If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see whether there is a water mark on the inside.
If you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car that was not damaged, be aware that buyers may still suspect that it was. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you sell it so that you can present potential buyers with a clean bill of health.
Likewise, months and even years after a major event like the Tennessee flooding, damaged cars can surface in other parts of the country. It best to be vigilant when considering a used-car purchase.
Here is a good video with some tips from Car Fax:
Have you ever purchased a flood damaged vehicle unaware of it? Did it cause you any headaches?
Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.
Did you know that a car or truck could be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make? Second only to a house of course. We all know that owning and operating a car or truck is expensive and takes work. As your taking care of your car or truck it’s the little things that can nickel and dime you to death. Luckily enough there are some things you can probably live with out!
(1) Gas Additives – Whatever gas your car or truck requires whether it be regular unleaded or diesel it more than likely already has the additives that you car needs in it. If your car requires regular unleaded adding mid grade unleaded or premium unleaded is not getting you better gas. Your just spending more money for no reason.
(2) Oil Additives – This can actually lead to problems instead of helping you.If you use the oil specified by the manufacturer then your using the oil they meant for you to use. You should not need to add anything unless the oil you put in was not the oil they told you to use and it’s missing something. Just stick with what the manufacturer tells you to use. Also, additives can sometimes cause problems. Do you really know what’s in that bottle your about to pour into your car? It could be harmless but it could seriously damage your engine if it has solvents in it that can dilute the oil and ruin its ability to protect your engine. What if you accidentally not knowingly over fill it? That’s not good.
(3) Those High Speed Tires – In Texas the highest legal speed limit is 80 but most of our highways are 60 or sometimes 65. In the United States there is nowhere you can cruise at 100 and not get at least a ticket or possibly even jail. Many cars and trucks come with tires that are made for safe travel at a continuous speed of say 130. So getting high speed tires is just a waste of money unless you’re driving on the Autobahn then what’s the point?
(4) Extended Warranties – Just make sure that you do your research, add everything up, and weigh your options. Sometimes the cost of the warranty may out weigh the cost of some repairs later on. If it makes you feel more comfortable by having an extended warranty then by all means go for it. I’m just saying it’s important to think about it on all angles. Make sure you read the warranty very closely and you understand everything.
Can you think of anything else your car or truck probably doesn’t need? If so, shoot them over to me.
Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.