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Discussion Starter #1
Despite the title, this is not an ad for anything.

I just replied to a poster about a 2007 Outback H6 advertised for (apparently) only $2,200. As soon as I hit the button, it occurred to me that it is about time for a reminder about flood damaged cars.

As the superstorm turns into a supercleanup, we will start to see more superdeals on cars that aren't so super anymore.

Flooding is one of the worst things you can do to a car, yet it leaves few visible traces and many of them are easy to hide- particularly where undereducated buyers are concerned. Saltwater flooding, such as occurred with this superstorm, is just about the worst kind of flooding there is.

I found an article listing 10 ways to spot flood damage in a car. I'm sure there are more ways- my old favorite was to reach under the seats and rub a white rag on the seat springs, to check for orange rust dust. That method isn't possible with some modern car designs but there are lots of tricks like that to help buyers. I'm hoping we can get a thread going to help new buyers of used cars be more aware.

Sandy hit NJ and NY with the most force, but there were flooded cars in other states too. Subarus are popular in those areas.

Keep in mind that after big storms and floods, many salvaged cars are hauled out to other parts of the country for resale. A car drowned by Sandy could be loaded on a trailer and put on a used car lot in Minnesota without much effort.

Used car prices have been very high recently, so there is extra incentive for auto salvagers to cash in on flood cars.

It is also worth mentioning that just because a car got flooded, it isn't worthless- it's just not as good as a car that hasn't ever been flooded. Uneducated buyers allow dealers to charge the same for both cars when the "u-boat edition" really should be heavily discounted.

Whether you are shopping for your first used Subaru or your seventh, keep your eyes peeled.
 

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Despite the title, this is not an ad for anything.

I just replied to a poster about a 2007 Outback H6 advertised for (apparently) only $2,200. As soon as I hit the button, it occurred to me that it is about time for a reminder about flood damaged cars.

As the superstorm turns into a supercleanup, we will start to see more superdeals on cars that aren't so super anymore.

Flooding is one of the worst things you can do to a car, yet it leaves few visible traces and many of them are easy to hide- particularly where undereducated buyers are concerned. Saltwater flooding, such as occurred with this superstorm, is just about the worst kind of flooding there is.

I found an article listing 10 ways to spot flood damage in a car. I'm sure there are more ways- my old favorite was to reach under the seats and rub a white rag on the seat springs, to check for orange rust dust. That method isn't possible with some modern car designs but there are lots of tricks like that to help buyers. I'm hoping we can get a thread going to help new buyers of used cars be more aware.

Sandy hit NJ and NY with the most force, but there were flooded cars in other states too. Subarus are popular in those areas.

Keep in mind that after big storms and floods, many salvaged cars are hauled out to other parts of the country for resale. A car drowned by Sandy could be loaded on a trailer and put on a used car lot in Minnesota without much effort.

Used car prices have been very high recently, so there is extra incentive for auto salvagers to cash in on flood cars.

It is also worth mentioning that just because a car got flooded, it isn't worthless- it's just not as good as a car that hasn't ever been flooded. Uneducated buyers allow dealers to charge the same for both cars when the "u-boat edition" really should be heavily discounted.

Whether you are shopping for your first used Subaru or your seventh, keep your eyes peeled.
hope you don't mind me adding..... Carfax information is weak on this issue.... don't trust that Carfax knows dirty secrets.
 

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I second that. Carfax only works if the repair shop reports it. Case in point. I traded in a Honda S2000 for my Subie. The dealer I traded it to has it for sale on their website complete with the CarFax report. I bought the thing new and know it was rear-ended twice. Both times it was reported repaired by a very reputable local shop in Sacramento by my insurance. Neither accident is on the CarFax.


Sent from my iPhone using Autoguide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hope you don't mind me adding.....
On the contrary, I welcome any info that could help folks out!

Stuff to look out for on the actual cars, good and bad sources of info, known flood car classified ad links, negotiation strategies for getting a flood car at an appropriate price... anything that could help a buyer.
 

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Orlando, FL is where a HUGE amount of used car trade-ins and insurance recoveries go to be sold off at the auctions there. There's more auctions in Miami too. So, if you are in Florida and see a 'killer deal', it could be one of these 'floaters'. Also watch out for used lots that buy from these auctions.
 

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I second that. Carfax only works if the repair shop reports it. Case in point. I traded in a Honda S2000 for my Subie. The dealer I traded it to has it for sale on their website complete with the CarFax report. I bought the thing new and know it was rear-ended twice. Both times it was reported repaired by a very reputable local shop in Sacramento by my insurance. Neither accident is on the CarFax.


Sent from my iPhone using Autoguide.com Free App
Yep, we had a Ford Explorer that was a mechanical nightmare. We also had a small accident with it. When we traded it in a few years ago the dealer said they were going to fun a carfax on it. I thought UT OH. The salesman was chipper said, "oh, came back clean." I knew then Carfax wasn't reliable so I dont take much stock in it.
 

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the worst part about flood cars is they can clean up where it's almost imposible to tell it's been under water, but in the months to come lots and lots of electrical conections will start to fail, and those are very very hard to find. even for a veteran mechanic.


Dar
 

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I have had the joys of working on flood vehicles and it's a real mess. The smell from the salt water is horrible with mold all over. Absolutely nothing worked in that Ridgeline I was working on and every piece of metal in the dash was rusted to almost nothing like the radio, hvac controls etc.
 
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