Checking a Used Car for Water Damage

Jason Simpson of AZ currently functions as the owner of JDS Enterprise, LLC, a used automobile dealer located in Glendale, Arizona. In addition to providing a full-service car buying experience to Arizona customers, Jason Simpson of AZ has complied with the U.S. Department of Transportation in their efforts to keep water damaged cars off of the market.

Cars that have been caught in a flood will demonstrate serious issues within the engine and the car’s electrical system. Unfortunately, the lack of cosmetic damage can make it easy for a disreputable seller to pass off a water damaged car to an unsuspecting buyer. The first step to take when buying a used car is to run the VIN number to see if it has been registered as a flood damaged vehicle. If the car does not register as having been flooded, there are additional steps the buyer can take to ensure this fact.

Any used car with new upholstery or mismatched carpets and upholstery should give a buyer significant concern. Rust is another telltale sign of water damage, particularly in usual places like door hinges or along the trunk. Rust inside the car, such as under the gas and brake pedals, can also indicate a history of flooding. Testing the car’s features should be a must for any pre-owned vehicle shopper, especially if water damage is a possibility. Any electrical malfunctions can be evidence of flooding, particularly if wires running beneath the dashboard are brittle, another sign of water damage.


Jason David Simpson of Arizona: Tips on Spotting Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Jason Simpson of AZ owns New Deal Used Cars in Glendale, one of the largest independently owned used car dealerships in Arizona.

Used car prices are expected to increase slightly in the months following Hurricane Sandy, which destroyed at least 250,000 used cars. Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed over 300,000 vehicles, caused a 3 percent increase in used car prices. Those currently in the market for a used car should be aware that many flood-damaged cars appeared in lots across the country following Hurricane Katrina.

To avoid purchasing a flood-damaged car, begin your search at a reputable dealership. Thoroughly inspect the car before buying, though obvious signs of damage have probably been removed. Good places to check for water damage are the engine compartment, which is difficult to clean, and under the seats, for rusted metal parts. The smell of mold or mildew is a sure sign of flood damage. If you need a second opinion, you can always take the vehicle in question to a mechanic for a professional inspection.

Overview of Salvaged Vehicle Titles and Implications for Car Buyers

New Deal Used Cars owner Jason Simpson sells a variety of automobiles at his used-car dealership in Glendale, AZ. Among his dealership’s stock, Jason Simpson of AZ includes approximately 150 vehicles priced under $10,000, but he avoids selling salvaged vehicles.

Some smaller dealerships may sell automobiles with “salvaged” or “restored salvage” titles, which means an insurance company or the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) deemed its repair cost to be greater than its value. However, a salvaged title does not necessarily mean a vehicle no longer works or runs improperly.

A car or vehicle may have a salvaged title for many reasons, including theft recovery or extensive damage from fire, water, collision, or vandalism. Stolen vehicles missing for an extended period of time may receive a salvaged title after being purchased from the owner’s insurance company and, if found, undergoing repairs to replace or fix missing or broken parts. Depending upon state regulations, the car may then be sold with a salvaged title.

In Arizona, after the proper repairs are completed, the vehicle will require registration with the MVD and the issue of a restored salvage title. The process also requires a Level III inspection by the department, in which experts examine the vehicle to ensure its functionality and safety.

Regardless of repairs made to a vehicle, having a salvaged or restored salvage title significantly decreases its value. Provided the car underwent proper repairs, it can be ideal for a buyer needing to save money. However, it may become difficult to resell should the buyer wish to do so at a later time.