Pennsylvanians are no stranger to the implications flooding and wet weather in their homes, but do you know how to spot the warning signs of water damage in a vehicle? While many flood or water damaged vehicles are condemned to a salvage yard, some are cleaned up and resold to unsuspecting consumers. These vehicles can be cleaned up enough to attract the average used-car buyer who may not have the experience or know how to check for some of the fundamental signs of water damage, leaving these buyers susceptible to making a poor investment.
When a vehicle suffers water damage, it is often more than cosmetically affected. Such damage can have lasting effects on vital vehicle components including the engine and electrical systems, which can shorten the life of a vehicle and cause safety hazards for drivers. Here are a few tips on how to identify a vehicle with water damage, so that you can steer clear of a bad auto investment.
– Check the vehicle for dirt, moisture and mold.
Although sellers taken great measures to cover up many of the signs of water damage, buyers can check the commonly missed or hard to reach places for evidence of water intrusion. Experts suggest looking for beads of trapped moisture within light fixtures, particularly in the interior of the vehicle. Buyers can also check the glove compartment, center consoles, under the seats and trunk for any sign of dampness or gritty dirt.
– What’s that smell?
While sellers may try to mask the presence of mold and mildew with car fresheners or extensive cleaning tactics, when a vehicle has been water damaged the smell is likely to linger. This is because seats, carpeting and other upholstered components are difficult to dry rapidly enough to prevent mold and mildew growth after being soaked in a flood or storm. Beware of any vehicle with emits a sour, musty odor in the interior of the vehicle.
– Check for new or mismatched interior.
Experts suggest that mismatched interior upholstery or fabrics should be a huge red flag for used car buyers. If components look out of place, too new or even too old for the age of the vehicle buyers show be weary of making the sale without a concrete explanation for the why the carpet or seat upholstery was changed.
– Defer to an expert.
Before purchasing any used vehicle buyers should always have a trusted third party technician preform a full inspection on the vehicle. An experienced auto technician will able to spot evidence of water damage to the major mechanical components of the vehicle because they know exactly to look for and where.
– Check out the vehicle’s history.
Vehicle history reports are widely available and can be a huge help when purchasing any used vehicle. While the vehicle history report cannot guarantee a100 percent accurate account of the vehicles lifespan, major defects will be disclosed on a vehicle’s history, including the title of salvaged. When in doubt about any used vehicle, experts say it’s best to pass than to make a regrettable purchase.
At GMG Insurance Agency, we know that vehicles are a long term investment, which is why we are dedicated to helping Pennsylvania motorists protect their assets. We know that obtaining the right Bucks county car insurance isn’t simply a matter of typing in your year, make and model into a preformatted application form. As such our auto insurance specialists will sit down with you to discuss your needs and concerns before crafting a coverage plan to fit your unique specifications. To learn more about our PA insurance agency and our offerings, give us a call today at (855) 407-4450.