Shopping for Indianapolis Used Cars: Be Wary of Possible Flood Damage

Hurricanes like Ike (2008) and Sandy (2012) leave behind a trail of destruction in their wake, mostly in the form of dilapidated homes and buildings, uprooted trees, and flooded roads. Among those, however, one remnant has the potential to linger for much longer than others-flood-damaged cars, which tend to still find their way into the used car market. 


Flood damage ruins any vehicle in several ways. It can eat away at the car's electrical wiring and seize up the mechanical systems, all while staying under the radar for months or even years. Corrosion and rust are two of the most potent effects of flood damage in a car, as the two often eat away at the vehicle's overall structure from the inside and out.

Fortunately, there are ways of avoiding waterlogged cars, which may still be out there. Aside from doing business only with trusted dealers of quality Indianapolis used cars like Fletcher Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, it's possible to pinpoint a flood-damaged car with a keen eye (and nose) for detail. 

Water lines - These lines can actually tell how deep the car has been submerged. If the water line seems to rise above the car floor, immediately turn your attention to the interior and trace if there's dampness. Relevant bits of evidence like moisture and dried mud can be found on the seats, glove compartment, tracks of the seats, or even in the trunk. At times, moisture can even be found on the instrument panel, as well as the front and rear lights. 

An unusual smell - Sniff around and try to identify a sour, mildew-like odor inside the vehicle. This odor can linger around as soaked seats, carpeting and other components take a long time to dry out; giving mold and mildew enough time to grow. Majority of flood-damaged cars reek of a strong musty odor (especially on the carpet), which no amount of disinfectant can easily get rid of.

Engine fluids - At times, dishonest sellers are crafty enough to make a waterlogged vehicle's interiors seem spotless. It's not as easy with the engine, though. The liquid levels of the engine can tell a different story, so be sure to check that out using a simple dip-stick method. If the oil is fresh and clean, you'll have no issues. If not, then you're better off considering another vehicle from a more reliable dealer. 

When visiting popular used car dealerships in Indianapolis and elsewhere, always keep the aforementioned tips in mind to avoid getting ripped off and ending up with a lemon. Always remember that a car purchase, whether new or used, is a significant investment. 

(Source: Beware of Flood-Damaged Cars, Auto Trader)
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