AAA Warning: Look Out for Flood Damaged Vehicles - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

AAA Warning: Look Out for Flood Damaged Vehicles

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AAA is warning consumers who are searching for new car to look out for flood-damaged vehicles.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of vehicles suffered major water damage, however, not all cars were deemed a total loss.

Those damaged cars could make their way onto used car lots throughout the country.  In fact, following Hurricane Katrina, this was a reality.  Hundreds of water-damaged new and used cars were purchased by unsuspecting customers.  

How can you protect yourself from getting a bad deal?

AAA sent out these important, useful tips:

·    Engage your sense of smell - are there any damp or musty odors inside the  vehicle?

·    Has the carpet or upholstery been replaced or recently shampooed?  Pull back the carpet at different areas and look for mud, dirt or signs of water stains.

·    Look under the vehicle for corrosion.  It is uncommon to find corrosion in newer vehicles and those that are owned or sold in southern states.

·    Open all doors, hood, and trunk to inspect for corrosion, mud and dirt or discoloration on the door frames, hinges and under the weather stripping. Pay special attention to small spaces and crevices that are difficult to clean, and inspect the dashboard underside for signs of mud and dirt.

·    Check all warning lights, window motors, and all electrical components to ensure they are working properly.  While a non-working part alone does not mean the vehicle was flooded, it combined with other difficulties is a cause for concern.

·    Obtain a CARFAX Vehicle History Report - This report can potentially reveal if the vehicle has been involved in a flood, major accident, fire, or uncover odometer fraud (but does not apply if the VIN has been cloned).

·    Always have the vehicle inspected by a quality repair facility prior to purchasing.  AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities are located across the United States.  Nearby locations can be found at  


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