When It Rains, It Pours Used Car Deals
Recently, we learned that Consumer Reports automotive experts are warning used car buyers to beware of car deals that may seem too good to be true---especially during a time when the availability of many used car models is at all-time low, and those that are available are commanding high prices even for those with 100,000-plus miles.
Those good deals, however, may not be just older used cars, but newer models too as CR experts report that following the hurricane season, we can expect tens of thousands of flood-damaged vehicle to wind up back on the market---when they should not be, adding yet another used car scam to worry about.
In fact, a recent press release from CarFax researchers, reports that as many as 212,000 potentially flood damaged vehicles may enter the market on top of 378,000 flood-damaged cars that their data shows were already on the road in 2021.
“Our data suggests that unsuspecting buyers everywhere are at risk of winding up with a previously flooded car,” said Chris Basso, CARFAX spokesperson. “The real danger is that these cars may look fine and run well for a while, but sooner rather than later major problems are likely to occur. Flooded cars literally rot from the inside out and the damage is often difficult for untrained eyes to detect. Together with our dealers, CARFAX is making the necessary resources available to help ensure consumers avoid unknowingly buying one of these waterlogged wrecks.”
Top 10 Cities With Flooded Cars
According to CarFax research, the top 10 cities where flood damaged cars wind up---in decreasing order--include:
• New York
• Dallas-Ft. Worth
• Minneapolis-St. Paul
• Los Angeles
The crux of the matter is that flood-damaged vehicles often are sold in areas where flooding has not happened and thereby targets unsuspecting used car buyers. While numerous sources recommend what to look for toward identifying a previously flood-damaged car, the truth is that some used car sellers are so good at hiding the damage, that detecting signs of water damage can be difficult.
As an example of the degree flooded car restoration possible by sellers, here is some before and after photos from a CarFax video detailing the process used shown below:
In addition, here is the CarFax video link to show how the details behind the before and after metamorphosis.
Tricks to Get That Engine Running
While the video below is not about how used car sellers specifically resurrect a flood-damaged video, it is very applicable to the problem for owners of flood-damaged cars.
How To Save A Flooded Car
From the video we can see that in some cases, car engines that have been submerged in a flood can be coaxed back into life as long as there is fuel, spark, compression and near-enough timing.
However, what the video does not point out is that the fine silt still trapped in the engine will eventually wear away at a multitude of the engine components with an expected failure in a few short weeks or months. That, and the likelihood of electrical problems as wires and contacts and sensors begin to corrode, are reasons enough for why flooded cars should remain in salvage.
For more used car articles, be sure to check out the following linked article about what experts have this to say regarding whether you should pay more on synthetic oil for your vehicle’s oil change services.
Timothy Boyer is Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily automotive-related news.