How To Identify A Flood Damaged Vehicle From Hurricane Sandy Part IV

cars under waterSo we are indeed at the end of this series. There is still two more thoughts that I would like to leave you with and a link that can help you by providing a checklist that you can print and use when checking vehicles for purchase.

  • Checking for hidden signs of problems-Take the time to make a careful inspection of the vehicle. Look for dirt, water stains or mold and mildew that crooks may have missed. Look in obscure places such as the roof where the fabric meets the cars body, check under the seats where the floors fabric connects to the dashboard. What you are looking for are pockets of water, dried mud, and dirt residue. You can get an “Auto Salvage Fraud Checklist” from NICB’s site to help.
  • Check all screws for rust-This is a pretty quick and easy step to do. You can do it and never be suspected of it by the seller. However, you really shouldn’t have to hide what you are doing. As a matter of fact, I would make it a point to let the seller know you are checking for signs of flood damage. Again, you may discover quickly that this person is a crook. Never take their word for anything. Their word can’t hold water in court. Get it? Hold water? Ha.

So now you have a better idea of what to look for, the list will help you with what I have not covered. My suggestion is to create a brochure or form that you can give to your clients. Being a helpful PDR Technician will go a long way in the mind of a client. You’re not taking away from your business, you’re helping it. They may still need your help on the car they do purchase that may have flaws that you are trained to work on. Good luck.

How To Identify A Flood Damaged Vehicle From Hurricane Sandy Part III

cars under water

  • Always check a cars background-In this day and age, this should be an automatic impulse. You should never go out to buy a vehicle without checking its background. Both NICB and CarFax offer free online tools to help spot Hurricane Sandy’s totaled vehicles. With NICB’s VINCheck program, you can check the vehicles history and find out if it comes from a flood background by discovering if the car has been deemed totaled or stolen. ¬†With CarFax offers basically the same thing but you will have to pay $40+ dollars to find out the most detailed information like Hurricane Sandy info. Keep in mind that neither of these tools are foolproof as they depend on the honest input. Each have their flaws, as an example, NICB’s database does not include uninsured vehicles and lacks information on about 12% of insured ones. Still, any bit of information that you can get will help you make smarter choices.
  • Bring your mechanic to check the vehicle-Obviously not all consumers are mechanics, and pretending that you are a mechanic of sorts will only hurt you in the long run. When you are planning on purchasing a vehicle, grab someone that is a paid mechanic. There are many backyard mechanics but the special things that are being considered after Hurricane Sandy won’t be known to an untrained mechanic. Don’t take any chances. Hopefully you are friends with one because the cost to take a car to a skilled mechanic is somewhere around $100. It would seem that everyone is trying to get in on the Hurricane Sandy fallout. Another warning to watch for, if you tell the seller that you want to run the car over to your mechanics shop so that they can take a look at it and the sellers face turns red and panicked, then let that serve as a sign that this is a crook. Another sign is when you say you want to take it to your mechanic and they say that this low price is a limited time offer, run. This is a scam.