Flood damaged vehicles could begin hitting the used car market in the next few months. Since Hurricane Sandy hit the U.S. East Coast, thousands of auto insurance claims have been reported. Most of which being varying degrees of flood damage.
Going forward, car purchasers have to be vigilant and stay away from these lemons. They may be offered for sale at an attractive price without disclosing their flood damage history. While water damage is bad enough, these vehicles have been exposed to salt water which is very bad for both electrical systems and air bags. Auto buyers have to avoid these vehicles at all costs.
Canadian car shoppers are not immune to these vehicles. Thousands of used vehicles are imported from the United States every year. As a result, many of these flood damaged vehicles may find their way into Canada. Insisting on a CarProof report before purchase is always a great starting point; having a trusted mechanic give the vehicle a complete inspection is extremely important as a condition before purchase.
Another simple and effective tool while inspecting the vehicle is the trusty smell test. Mildew is an odor that is very difficult to clear completely with most serious flood damaged vehicles.
No doubt there are varying degrees to flood/water damage. Some of these used cars that only suffered light damage will be as good as new after some TLC. However, for vehicles that have serious damage and have been submerged beyond the roofline, the only real value left is the sheet metal.