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Dealership offers tips to avoid buying a car damaged in floods

Dealership offers tips to avoid buying a flood-damaged car

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Cars damaged by flooding in Colorado are sneaking into car auctions and dealership lots; one car seller offered tips Saturday to avoid taking one home.

Sean Parker is a used car manager at Al Serra Chevrolet South off Academy Boulevard.  He goes to auctions to bid on used cars that will be sold at the dealership.  He has to be extra careful at auctions after disasters like flooding.

"Let's say (the car) works fine and you don't realize you have a flood damage vehicle and then there is water built up underneath the dash or underneath the electrical box," said Parker. "Next thing you know you have a car with a plethora of problems."

Parker encouraged people in the market for a car to check the following places before signing on the dotted line:

  • Check for moisture under floor mats and seat cushions.
  • Check for moisture by pulling up a panel near the driver's side door.
  • Look for condensation on the dashboard.
  • Inspect the car's headlights and taillights. Look for condensation and also small pools of water the light's base.
  • Check for rust around the wheel.
  • Examine the car's title. Look for key words like "branded" or "salvaged" -- it's an indication an insurance claim has been made on the car.
  • Research the car's history on websites like www.carfax.com or www.nicb.org

Parker said research is key. A car damaged in a flood can drop in value as much as 75 percent.


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