Flood Cars

Hurricane Harvey is finally leaving Texas and Louisiana, and not a moment too soon for the residents in Houston and other cities that were in the Hurricane’s path. Along with flooded houses and businesses, the storm is also going to leave at least 500,000 flood-damaged vehicles in it’s wake. “Flood cars” (or, “swimmers”, as they’re referred to by used-car dealers) are nothing new to this area; in fact, before the recent hurricane, the Houston Metro Area had more flood cars than any other metro area in the U.S. That was before the hurricane, mind you.

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Some auto insurance industry experts are forecasting a much higher number of flood cars, with some estimates a full 50% higher than the 500,000 number – that is, 750,000 flood-damaged cars from the storm.

We’re not going to take up your time by telling you how to spot a flood car, a quick Google search will turn up lots of articles explaining how to do that.

Here’s the important thing we’d like to get across. If you are considering knowingly buying a flood car, think twice. And then think again. Because, no matter how low the price, once a car has been flooded, only a total replacement of everything in the interior (carpets, seats, dash, etc), and complete disassembly and subsequent cleaning of everything mechanical will make that vehicle anywhere near right again. And even those extreme measures may not be enough to get rid of all the gremlins that will plague that car for many years to come. It’s just not worth it.

Remember, it’s not just the money you’re going to spend on mechanics tracking down and fixing the problems. It’s also going to be leaving you (or your loved ones) stranded when it breaks down (day or night).

I’ve bought (knowingly) swimmers, clickers (odometer rolled back) and smokers (cars that burned) before, and the worst of this group by far are the swimmers. Flood cars just never can be made right, it seems. And cars have computers and software galore now, and mechanical pieces aside, just reflect for a moment how well your laptop or smartphone would work if it were underwater for a couple of days.

Yeah, don’t even consider buying a flood car.

One thought on “Flood Cars

  1. Pat says:

    Hi,I read your post named “Flood Cars”, and read your site on a regular basis.Your story-telling style is witty, keep up the good work!

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