Hurricane Katrina brings new hazards to the used car market, not only in the Gulf States region affected by floodwater, but across the nation as well.
The risk of buying a vehicle with flood damage goes up significantly and along with high demand and low volume, it is likely the price will also increase for used cars in the affected market area.
While a vast majority of the vehicles will be considered a "Total Loss" by insurance companies and scrapped, there are still hundreds if not thousands that will be back in the market place for resale purposes.
Wholesalers may purchase moderately damaged flood vehicles and sell at auctions across the country, leaving unsuspecting buyers at risk of purchasing a vehicle that has been damaged by Katrina.
Water damaged vehicles can be one of the most serious and costly types of damage. The long-term effects of corroded electronic parts and wiring can be devastating and almost impossible to correct and repair.
Here are few tell tale signs and basic tips consumers can take to minimize the risk of purchasing a vehicle with flood damage.
Unless cleaned up properly, flood damage will leave grass and debris around the radiator, underneath around the frame, front and rear suspension components, etc.
Waterlines may be visible in the engine comprtment, rear firewall area, and even inside door pockets of the door panels and interior trim areas.
Mildew smell inside due to wet carpeting and padding underneath the carpet.
Inspect connectors and wiring for signs of corrossion
Rusted bolts and metal components, particularly underneath where water has been standing.
Inspect for windows fogging up on the inside after the vehicle has sat overnight, this is an indication that there may be water underneath the carpet and or carpet padding.
Inspect trunk area for waterlines, corroded connectors and wiring.
With a keen eye and a little knowledge you can minimize the risk of spending thousands of dollars on a vehicle that has potential long term effects by water damage.
Usedcarwise.com offers a comprehensive "how to" course designed to educate the average consumer on protecting themselves when used car shopping.
For more information visit the web site at www.usedcarwise.com or call toll free 1 866 374 WISE (9473).
About the Author
CEO and president of www.usedcarwise.com