Buying a used car? Protect yourself from buying a flood car!

June 28, 2007
By: Robert Silverman

We frequently get calls from used car buyers who think they may have purchased a flood car. While it is true that cars submersed by waters from Hurricane Katrina and other storms could end up on an auction block and sold to your local dealership, The National Auto Dealers’ Association has come up with a few ways to spot flood damage

  • Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
  • Check for a recently shampooed carpet.
  • Look under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks. WOULD A DEALER ALLOW YOU TO INSPECT THIS PRIOR TO SALE?
  • Inspect for rusting on the inside of the car and under interior carpeting and visually inspect all interior upholstery and door panels for any evidence of fading. IF THE CAR IS RUSTING, HAS IT DEFINITELY BEEN IN A FLOOD?
  • Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
  • Check for rust on screws in the console or other areas where the water would normally not reach unless submerged.
  • Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
  • Complete a detailed inspection of the electrical wiring system looking for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
  • Inspect the undercarriage of other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late model cars and trucks.

If you have additional questions, drop us an e-mail..

If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, or Ohio, feel free to call us at 1-800-LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652), and we’ll be happy to answer your questions, address your concerns, and – if applicable – file a claim on your behalf. If we are able to help, there is no cost to you at any time!

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4 Responses to “Buying a used car? Protect yourself from buying a flood car!”

  1. #1 Anonymous says:

    <p>Hi, my name sarah and I recently bought a passat, volvswagen 2000. it had 81 miles. I test driven it before and it ran great , “at first”. in the first few months it just started falling apart , from signal lights to windows.It’s on a lease from a dealer. With my contract can I return my car?. I’ve only had it for 4 months for a 32 month lease.</p>

    • #2 Lemon Law says:

      <p>Hi Sarah: If your vehicle is not under manufacturers warranty, unforutnately you do not fall under the State or Federal laws and it will not be possible to return the car. I do not know the state you reside in, but you may want to contact the attorney general to see if they can be of assistance.</p>

      • #3 savannah says:

        hello, i bought a car from an auction/dealership and within the first 30 days, they have fixed three things that had stopped working. The whole bottom of the car is rusted and it broke down. its only been 31 days. Is there is anything i can do ?

        • #4 LemonLaw says:

          @Savannah: It would not fall under the laws we work with, but I would call your state attorney general.

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