So How Can It Be Determined A Vehicle For Sale Has Been Flooded?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Huntn, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #1
    Seems like a timely subject with 2 hurricanes and over a million vehicles flooded. You can't rely on a service like CarFax to give you the straight poop. The fact may be hidden. If the car will run, rust or electronics might take a while to show evidence?

    HARVEY WRECKS UP TO A MILLION CARS IN CAR-DEPENDENT HOUSTON

    And that’s where another specter raises its head: title washing, or taking a damaged vehicle, fixing it up a bit, and fudging the record (either by forgery or taking advantage of legal loopholes by moving states) to hide the fact that it was once the victim of serious problems. A 2014 study by Carfax found there were nearly 800,000 cars on US roads that had been through this sort of fraud; 650,000 of those were flood damaged or salvage vehicles.
    Because these cars tend to be sold cheap, their sellers are likely to target the many people now in desperate need of a new chariot. “Flooded vehicles will be showing up on the market,” says Fred Britton, owner of Public Auto Auctions in Niederwald, Texas, near Austin. “That’s always a bad thing.” Cars that have been submerged are almost certain to be totaled: Water can wreak havoc on the engine, exhaust, electrical systems, and computer controls. “Somebody may be able to get it running again,” Britton says, but the problems caused by the water will almost certainly persist and eventually resurface.
     
  2. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    #2
    A good body man can probably tell if it's been flooded? I will personally avoid any car from FL or TX, but not too many get up to Pennsylvania.
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #3
    You never know. I could imagine truck being loaded on a carrier and shipped across country.
     
  4. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess

    AustinIllini

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    #5
    I had a car recently with $14,000 in damage that didn't show up on the CarFax report. I would assume the flooded list will get a lot of attention, but cars make it through the cracks.
     
  5. Zenithal macrumors 604

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    #6
    I think Jalopy ran an article last week on it. There's a national database for flooded vehicles by VIN.
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #7
  7. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #8
    I'm not one to put a lot faith in carfax. My wife has taken her car to an autobody place, and they've never updated/reported their work. I think dealerships may report work, but I'm not so sure about most of the small time shops
     
  8. daflake macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Carfax is hit and miss and in some cases you can actually bribe the shop to not report it. Titles should reflect that they were flooded but even those can be doctored. Best way is to dig into the car and see if you find signs of flooding (rust or dirt) in places that it shouldn't be happening.
     
  9. jeyf macrumors 65816

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    #10
    drive train car parts are an issue too
     
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #11
    I was talking to one of the managers at a local auto repair shop (Houston) and he said they were swamped with flooded cars. I asked him what the criteria was for a flooded vehicle to be totaled and he said if the water gets up to the seat motors, that's high enough to consider the car totaled because of the other electronics that will be effected. I don't know if this is a hard and fast rule, his personal standard, or an approximation.
     
  11. jeyf macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Carfax is hit and miss and in some cases you can actually bribe the shop to not report it. Titles should reflect that they were flooded but even those can be doctored. Best way is to dig into the car and see if you find signs of flooding (rust or dirt) in places that it shouldn't be happening.
     
  12. Huntn thread starter macrumors P6

    Huntn

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    #13
    Ignorant lazy question- Is there a law that requires a record to be made?
     
  13. jeyf macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I guess you know but gods Huntn; your a difficult person.
     
  14. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

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    #15
    Dead fish under the seats is not a good sign.:eek:
     
  15. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

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    Texas
    #16
    Always have the car looked at by a mechanic prior to buying or get a list of what to look for and look it over with a fine tooth comb.

    Edit: Wouldn't buying a flooded car that wasn't reported probably be considered under the lemon law as the car would no longer carry a clean title? Curious.
     
  16. jeyf, Sep 23, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017

    jeyf macrumors 65816

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    #17
    whatever;
    buyer be ware the used car market nation wide will be saturated with these cars for years to come. till they find new homes. there is a reasonable good scrap market so lots will be crushed to make for new GBU43 bombs:p

    other than the vehicle's registration; you might look at the engine, transmission, brake fluids. Usually if these oils have water contamination you will see a Reagan brown milky appearance.

    Mentioned above look over any car for signs of water contamination where none should be.

    a previous damaged vehicle might meet your expectations, who is to say.
     

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