Buyer Beware Of Flood Damaged Cars - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Buyer Beware Of Flood Damaged Cars

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DELMARVA - Who doesn't want a good deal when looking for a car, but after a storm like Sandy, buyer beware!  Vehicles with flood damage could wind up on a car lot or auction block near you.

Ray Ramono, a salesman at Delmar Auto Outlet, says the company doesn't put any cars on the lot that might have flood damage, but still warns consumers to be on the lookout, because it may not be easy to spot them.  "You'll never know, until you own the car for a while and start having problems," says Ramono.

While water itself getting into the vehicle is bad, one major concern with flood damaged cars is salt water getting in.

"Salt water, yeah, there's a little bit more damage because you have a lot more chance with it rusting," says Patrick Adkins of PNR Auto Center.  But exterior damage is just the tip of the iceberg.  "With some of these computers on these cars, if one of them ends up going bad, you could end up spending anywhere from $800 to $1,000 dollars to have one replaced and have it programmed," he tells WMDT.

Buying a flood damaged car can also be a health hazard.  Adkins says "if it's been into a flood you might have mildew into the heating duct system and have a chance of getting sick with that."

So how do you make sure the vehicle you're buying is a good deal?  First, experts say get a background check from a company like Carfax.  They can check the history of the car and let you know if anything from a flood to a truck has hit the car.  Also, make sure your mechanic checks it out before you buy.  And while you can find almost anything on the internet, including a car, experts say that doesn't mean you should.
     
Ramono recommends "go through a dealership because at least you have that peace of mind and that guarantee."

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