Whenever hurricanes and flooding hit in the South, there are vehicles that will have moderate to severe flood damage. Many of those end up for sale. Some of these vehicles that have not been completely submerged will be cleaned up, freshner sprayed into carpets and vents and shipped North, East and West.
The people who deal in these vehicles get them dirt cheap and do some clean up and then ship them out to the unsuspecting public. These vehicles will look normal but after buying one of them you will most likely develop serious problems down the road.
These vehicles will have mold started that you won’t be able to detect for some time and the odor will be covered up with some strong sprays that will hide the problem for several weeks/months. But then one warm day after being closed up in the sun you will open the door to a musty odor that will start to become worse each day until after a while it will be unbearable.
The odor may be the least of your problems for after a vehicle is submerged in water for any length of time the water and grit is in the engine, transmission, differential all the wheel bearings and working parts. So after driving the vehicle a few hundred miles you will start to develop major failures to these components.
Also the water will get into the electrical system of the vehicle and cause shorts in the wiring that may cause fires or serious damage to the computer system of the vehicle that will result in very high repair bills.
To avoid buying any of these vehicles you will need to do a complete inspection of the vehicle to check it out for any tell-tale signs of water damage. If you can’t do this yourself hire a good mechanic to check it for you, or use a vehicle inspection service and Carfax to determine if it has been in a flood or any type of accident or had major repairs.
Check title for previous owners and if it trails back to recent sales in the hurricane/flood state. Pass up the sale even it seems to be a good deal as you may have some high repair bills later or worse, not even be able to salvage vehicle.
In the Ionia County area, feel free to contact O’Connor Auto Repair for an inspection of the vehicle before you buy.