How to spot a flood-damaged car - FOX 35 News Orlando

How to spot a flood-damaged car

Posted: Updated:
NEW JERSEY (MYFOXNY.COM) -

Car buyers beware: Superstorm Sandy can put a big damper on your upcoming vehicle purchase. Flooded vehicles are showing up all over auction blocks and online retailers.

Chris Basso of CARFAX is a flood damage expert when it comes to cars. He says some of the signs of having a flooded out car can be pretty obvious. He took a look at one of our news trucks took a major beating from Hurricane Sandy.

Chris says if you look along the back firewall you can see a water line along the back side that shows water was clearly in the engine compartment. Plus you can see rust on the engine. Those are pretty obvious. But there are other tip-offs you can see before you even open the door;

"Look at the window all the condensation that's built up on here, clearly this thing has been under water," Chris says.

But there's more. You could hide the rust. Maybe even wipe off the condensation, but take a whiff.

"The smell is your first clue that this car was under water," Chris says. "It's just almost unbearable, but you can see standing water in the cup holders here."

But what if you take the car to a good detailer?

"It's a temporary fix, it's a temporary fix," says Debbie Bjorkner of Auto Detailing Center. "But you're dealing with your health also, inhaling mold spores, you have children that are in these cars and their lungs aren't fully developed even as youngsters."

While Debbie says she'd never clean up a car just to dupe a buyer, there are those who do it. So, trust your nose.

But here's something only a mechanic can fix: condensation inside the headlights. It is impossible to hide without replacing the light.

Cracked insulation is also a problem. But, for a couple of grand all the insulation in the car could be replaced and you may not know the difference.

Tony Rota, the owner of Log Cabin Service, always reports repairs to CARFAX. But he says some repair shops see a quick buck.

If you think you don't have to worry about getting a flood-damaged car if you live in a place that was never flooded, think again.

Chris from CARFAX says flood-damaged cars, rotting from the inside out, are already showing up thousands of miles away;

CARFAX usually shows accidents, flood damage and repairs. And the car's title is supposed to show it too. But if you retitle the car in another state, the title may come back clean with no reference to flood damage. It's called title washing.

So there is a lot to look out for.

CARFAX does have a free service on its website if you want to find out if a car may be damaged in a flood. All you need is the Vehicle Identification Number.

www.carfax.com

  • Your MoneyMore>>

  • Beware what your 'Digital Shadow' says about you

    Beware what your 'Digital Shadow' says about you

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:00:19 GMT

    To promote a video game called "Watch Dogs," the game's maker has launched a website called Digital Shadow to data-mine your Facebook account. When given permission, digital shadow analyzes all the public information about you and your friends available on the social network to create a file detailing everything from your most-used words to your annual salary to your personality.

    To promote a video game called "Watch Dogs," the game's maker has launched a website called Digital Shadow to data-mine your Facebook account. When given permission, digital shadow analyzes all the public information about you and your friends available on the social network to create a file detailing everything from your most-used words to your annual salary to your personality.


  • Insurer warns of 'cybergeddon' scenario

    Insurer warns of 'cybergeddon' scenario

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:32:34 GMT
    Most people can't go a day without the Internet. Reasons for using it are nearly limitless: social media, shopping, work, communication, finance, everything. Securing passwords and personal information is an ongoing concern.Now a new report says it's not you who needs to step up cyber security. Instead, organizations storing information need to step up their response to cyber risks to avoid a global disaster on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis.
    Most people can't go a day without the Internet. Reasons for using it are nearly limitless: social media, shopping, work, communication, finance, everything. Securing passwords and personal information is an ongoing concern.Now a new report says it's not you who needs to step up cyber security. Instead, organizations storing information need to step up their response to cyber risks to avoid a global disaster on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Cough syrup popular in celebrities' 'sizzurp' cocktails pulled from market

    Cough syrup popular in celebrities' 'sizzurp' cocktails pulled from market

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:14:22 GMT
    A prescription cough syrup that some celebrities like to mix with soda and hard candy is being pulled from the market, TMZ reported and confirmed by pharmaceutical company Actavis. The cough syrup-soda concoction is often called "sizzurp." Lil Wayne sings about "Me and my drink." Bieber reportedly loves it. Soulja Boy recently posted a photo of several bottles of the Actavis-branded syrup on his Instagram account.
    A prescription cough syrup that some celebrities like to mix with soda and hard candy is being pulled from the market, TMZ reported and confirmed by pharmaceutical company Actavis. The cough syrup-soda concoction is often called "sizzurp." Lil Wayne sings about "Me and my drink." Bieber reportedly loves it. Soulja Boy recently posted a photo of several bottles of the Actavis-branded syrup on his Instagram account.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices