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Are Water Water Damaged Cars a Bad Buy?


Heavy downpours, flash floods or other unforeseen acts of nature happen annually and affect car owners. The requirement of auto insurance in all 50 states is meant to protect owners of vehicles from sudden disasters or accidents. The outcome of severe weather patterns has created new problems for car owners over the past two decades. The rising trend of water damaged cars is a major cause of concern to the automobile industry.

It is customary for most insurance agencies to evaluate a vehicle after water damage is reported. In a large percentage of cases, owners of vehicles are notified that vehicles must be salvaged due to parts and components being destroyed because of rain or flood damage. The cause of concern affects buyers of used cars and buyers of car parts equally in the U.S.

Sales of Water Damaged Cars Gain National Popularity

There are few laws in America that prevent the sale of a salvage vehicle. Most buyers are not concerned with how a vehicle is purchased; however, they are usually concerned with how much the vehicle is worth. Some dealerships and other third party sources to purchase automobiles have started to sell cars with known water damage to consumers.

A consumer in a position to evaluate a used vehicle purchase can use several checklists to make determine if a vehicle up for sale is water damaged or not. There are ways to pinpoint damage to a vehicle that happens from water or floods in regions of the U.S. This information can be helpful before salvage car, truck or SUV is purchased and found to be of little value to a consumer.

How to Spot a Car Damaged by Water, Flood or Other Disasters

Sellers can often do a great job of disguising the past issues with a vehicle up for sale. Vehicles can appear great on the outside although have issues that can be spotted by a trained eye on the inside.

Motor vehicles damaged by rain, hail or floods can sometimes have the following characteristics:

  1. Mineral deposits
  2. Foul Interior Odors
  3. Noticeable Rust
  4. Over-Cleaned Carpeting
  5. Battery Damage
  6. Weakened Floors
  7. Mud or Silt Deposits
  8. Brittle Wiring
  9. Airbag or Electronics Problems
  10. A/C or Lighting Issues

There are many ways to benefit from purchasing a vehicle in the salvage industry. Not all dealers choose disclose that vehicles up for purchase have been damaged by water. The automobile parts industry is benefiting from sales of water damaged motor vehicles by helping the public to purchase good quality parts pulled from these automobiles.

How to Research Cars with Water Damage in the USA

Not every person has an experienced mechanic handy who can provide a resource for information before buying a vehicle. There are ways that can be used by any person to find out if a vehicle has been in fact damaged by water or other disasters. Obtaining vehicle information reports through reputable companies is one way to learn new information. These reports can be obtained if a vehicle identification number is provided by a potential buyer.

There are currently 20 states in the USA that require a vehicle title to include reference to flood damage. The states of AR, CO, MD, MI, MO, NM and UT are among those not requiring public display of a flood brand on a salvage title. A person who is ready to buy a complete vehicle or purchase replacement parts can find it a good idea to perform research prior to making a sale to ensure that flood damaged motor vehicles or parts are in acceptable condition and are a good buy.

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