The Aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma: What it Means for the Purchase of your Next Car

Hurricane Harvey over Houston TX

In the aftermath of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, we are going to find ourselves faced with a flood of water-soaked cars on the market. These cars were damaged by the intense flooding caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Hurricane Irma in August and September of 2017. Roughly, over half a million cars were damaged by the hurricanes, which will create both a need for car-buyers and an opportunity for dealers and auto insurance companies alike. Many of these flood-damaged cars will be fixed and placed back on the market, and many buyers will jump at the opportunity to purchase one of these often less-expensive vehicles.

However, we must be wary of these flooded cars. Often, they are camouflaged as just another used car and are transported to areas not affected by flooding. The trouble with these cars is that water can permanently damage many aspects of the vehicle that the average car buyer overlooks, including the electrical system, lubricants, and mechanical systems. Exposure to excessive amounts of water can haunt you for the rest of your car’s lifespan, as you struggle to fix a car that can never be completely restored unless you do a major rebuild. Because these cars can appear to fine, it is important to have a technician perform a pre-purchase inspection, especially if the deal sounds too good to be true.

Here are a few signs of flood-damage to be aware of when purchasing your next car:

  • Waterlogged or dirty carpets that also have a distinct musty smell. Also, be cautious if the vehicle is older, but has brand-new carpets.
  • If the car smells moldy, it is a sure sign the car was exposed to excessive amounts of water.
  • Corrosion and rust are also evidence of flood damage. Check for proof of corrosion on door hinges, seats, trunk latches, and screws.
  • For more visible signs of electrical system damage, turn on the radio and listen for static. Also, turn on the A/C, turn signals, and emergency lights.

The team at I-70 Auto Service would be more than happy to perform a pre-purchase inspection on a potential car. Because we look out for your best interest, the last thing we would is for you to be stuck with a flood-damaged car that is beyond repair. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.