The extreme flooding from Hurricane Sandy could have implications for car buyers in Virginia. There are ways to make sure a vehicle doesn't have water damage.
Getting at water-damage inspection can save your life. Many times water can get into the electrical components of a car putting you at risk. That's why it's a good idea to have a professional check it out before you seal the deal.
Car experts predict they'll check vehicles for water damage more and more in the next several months following the massive flooding by Hurricane Sandy.
"It generally ruins the car," said mechanic Emerson Miles.
Miles encourages every new car owner to get a water-damage inspection especially if the title is from New Jersey or New York. It takes some time for cars on the market to make their way from the northeast to Virginia, but Miles says it'll eventually happen, and when it does - his shop will be slammed.
"Right now, anything with a title from New Jersey we'd have to look at that," Miles noted.
Miles searches for several indicators: debris left behind, rust after time, and dried mud or residue stuck in crevices under the spare tire, above the gas tank or around the engine.
"I don't want to show all the hiding places, but it's a lot of places you can look," Miles added.
Aside from the visible signs, the car expert says the damage can be dangerous especially if water seeps into electrical components, messing with indicator lights or the air bag deployment.
"Eventually chronic issues with the electrical system - as much wiring as there is - it may not work its way into the insulation or wires right away but the corrosion does come," Miles said.
Miles says signs of water damage aren't always easy for the everyday person to pick out. That's why he urges every buyer to have a licensed mechanic inspect their car to prevent further hazards on the highway.
Car experts say water damage inspections could cost between $50 and $100 - a payment that could prevent huge hassles down the road.
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