Buying a flood-damaged car unintentionally could set you back financially big time. Here's how you can avoid it when you're in the market for one.
If you are planning to buy a car with the main intention of commuting from place to place without wanting to break the bank with monthly installments, then buying a used car would be a good idea!
However, due to the recent flood incidents in the country, you might be duped into buying a car with undetected flood damage. Instead of enjoying getting around, you could inherit problems like short-circuited electronic control unit (ECU), damaged brake pads, flooded transmission, corroded car parts, or at the very least damped carpets and discolored upholstery.
Most used car dealers will disclose if the cars you are looking into have been affected by flood. If you are unlucky, you might deal with one that would omit such vital information to wash their hands off the vehicle.
Here are six ways to avoid buying a vehicle that might have been damaged by flood:
1. Buy from reputable and trusted used car dealers as they will do a complete check on the car before putting it up for sale in the market. A reputable dealer may not necessarily be a well-known household name. It can also be one that is trusted and recommended by friends and family who have done deals with them.
2. Look for “red flags” such as the smell of the interior, stained markings, non-matching upholstery or carpets, mud underneath the seat or dashboard or fogs inside the instrument panel or lights. Some experts even advise to see if the vehicle has recently installed new audio system as the old one could be replaced due to water damage.
3. Request for the car’s inspection record and the original service book to check if there’s any tampering done to the mileage or even the wiring that causes the warranty to be void (in the event the used car is brand new and under warranty).
4. Take the car out for a spin where you can assess it while it is on the road. You should test everything with a switch like the ignition, indicator, panel lights, interior and exterior lights, air conditioning, radio, wipers, and other functions. Other than that, pay extra attention to any clicking or squeaking sounds the car might produce while you are driving, braking and turning.
5. Check under the hood like pulling out the dipstick to see if the oil is clear or murky, inspecting the spark plug for any cavities or corrosion, inspect the engine and look for muds and leaves at places where they are not supposed to be and other precautionary measures.
6. Get a trusted mechanic to inspect the car together with you. The professionals not only will look at electrical, mechanical or system damages, but they would be more aware of irregular things like signs of water damages unseen by untrained and inexperienced eyes.
Once you have completed the assessment on the car, the next important step is to understand and/or negotiate the after-sale terms like the return policy if you are not satisfied with the car, car insurance arrangement, and warranty in the event of damages to the car not caused by your negligence.
There you have it. Hopefully these tips will help you make an informed decision when purchasing your second-hand car. For peace of mind, get AXA car insurance online and add on the Special Perils cover to protect your car from damages caused by flood, landslide, and any convulsion of nature.
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Most car owners may not know this, but a comprehensive car insurance does not come with a flood coverage unless it is added into the plan.