Sandy and cars

david52_gwNovember 18, 2012

I saw an interesting tv clip yesterday talking about how the price of used cars may go up some 10% as dealers buy up vehicles around the country and ship them to the areas affected by Sandy - some 250,000 cars were flooded, some brand-new on the lots.

And you just know that these flooded ones will be "rehabbed" and popping up in sleazy used car lots all around the country.

Anyway, its the scale of it all that I find astounding. At the link is a huffpo article, the other confirming links I found were all videos.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Shades of the Katrina aftermath.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 3:36PM
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jodik_gw

I think you already know what I would say... so... I'll let others duke it out over cost, loans, payments, interest, insurance, and whatnot... not to mention where those re-furbed autos will end up and at what price.

People with full coverage and money to spend can afford this... people scraping to get by will receive the short end of the stick, as usual.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 4:25PM
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markjames

In the heating industry we call it "Dry and Fire", when service techs put flooded boilers, furnaces and water heaters back into service without replacing the insulation, combustion chambers and electronics.

Some sellers of flooded vehicles, boats and other motorized equipment do the same.

After Irene, one of our daughter's friends - a struggling high school and early college admissions student bought a used car without a salvage title that had obviously been in a flood, then dried out.

When I pulled the interior you could see the water-line. I had to replace the carpeting, insulation, ECM, BCM, some relays and some wiring that was damaged.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:14PM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

CarFax prevents disappointment when buying a used car.

I can't imagine any buyer not requesting a CarFax, even the poor can afford CarFax.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:51AM
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mrskjun(9)

You said it brush. People who have cars that flood make insurance claims. Insurers make this info available to CarFax. So even if the original title may not be branded flood car, CarFax will have the info.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:05AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Many dealers here provide a free CarFax...

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:06AM
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ohiomom

I realize that this will not go with the "popular perception of people" that some have but not everyone buys their car at a "dealer" and not everyone has access to computers "CarFax", these cars will however make it to small corner (pop up) lots which are "buy here pay here".

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:18AM
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maggie2094

They marked our cars condemned. This is a sea water flood which is corrosive. Those that could start their cars immediately after either eventually went on fire or sputtered out. Ones I know anyway.

I wanted to save my cars we are original owners and low mileage and can't replace what I have. For sure will not be buying a car off a Long Island lot.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:27AM
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mrskjun(9)

It is possible ohiomom. Most states require that the titles be marked flood car. Some will be taken to states that don't have this requirement and sold at auction to end up on some of those lot's. Then it is up to the buyer to learn what they need to know in order to recognize the ways to tell if a car has gone through a flood. They have become much stricter in making sure these cars get marked, though the rule of thumb would be, if the deal is too good to be true, you probably are getting "flooded".

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:28AM
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markjames

Many used vehicle owners only carry liability, don't report accidents, don't claim damages and make/pay for their own repairs, so issues won't show up on Carfax.

I know of many vehicles that have been in multiple accidents, yet have clean titles.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:49AM
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mrskjun(9)

You are talking about junkers though markjames. If the cars were new enough to be financed they would have had collision. A junker is a junker whether it has been through a flood or not. It is always a buyer beware situation then.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 9:03AM
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markjames

You are talking about junkers though markjames. If the cars were new enough to be financed they would have had collision.

Many of the vehicles, boats, motorcycles that don't have full coverage are far from being junkers.

Many people with collision are afraid of rate increases, or cancellation, so they won't file smaller claims.

Many people with collision won't report accidents as they're driving under the influence, they fled the scene, the operator was unlicensed, they were somewhere they weren't supposed to be, or had something illegal in the vehicle.

One of my former neighbors had numerous accidents while either driving drunk, driving with a suspended/conditional license, or driving when his mistress was in the vehicle.

He didn't report any of the accidents and paid for all damages (sometimes for 2 new/newer vehicles) out of pocket.

One of my cousins has had 3 accidents while doing burnouts with very expensive sports cars at Adirondack Nationals in Lake George, but reported none of them.

Title washing, swapping and fraud are major issues as well.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:20AM
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mrskjun(9)

You think if his car was a total loss to a flood he wouldn't report it markjames?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Mom,

It doesn't matter how small the dealer is, CarFax is availble to you right from your very own computer. If the buyer doesn't have one, it's available at the library.

Enter VIN and press Submit. ta da!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:37AM
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ohiomom

Well guess what brush, I had no idea what CarFax was and had to ask one of my children ... hard to believe that not everyone knows as much as some people think they do eh? LOL

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

Mom,

I still love you even if you don't know everything. :)

Mark,

A responsible buyer will

a. demand a CarFax
b. walk away from any deal without a CarFax

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:08PM
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jodik_gw

I don't know if anyone already mentioned it, but... CarFax is only as good as those who actually enter information regarding a car, or enter truthful information. Otherwise, it's useless.

Unless you have a knowledgeable individual to look at a car with you when purchasing used, you can't tell what's been done or not done to that car... and even then, you can't see everything, so... it's kind of a crap shoot.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:32PM
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haydayhayday

It's all good for the economy.

Remember when Obama was taking the "clunkers" off the road and pouring something into them that would render them and the parts totally useless?

Thank you, Sandy. We're actually better off.

Don't listen to the ingrates around here.

Hay

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:04PM
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markjames

I don't know if anyone already mentioned it, but... CarFax is only as good as those who actually enter information regarding a car, or enter truthful information. Otherwise, it's useless.

Yes, I could run a Carfax on our vehicles that have sustained damage on numerous occasions, however many would come back clean since we haven't made a claim.

The vehicle I mentioned in my first post had a clean carfax although it had been in a flood and 2 accidents.

The vehicles I mentioned in a following posts would have returned clean carfax reports as well.

Many salvage parts from vehicles, boats and motorcycles in disasters or accidents are also used in other vehicles, boats and motorcycles, yet this information isn't documented.

After Irene, there were some heating techs selling salvaged boilers, furnaces, water heaters, burners, controls, aquastats, circulators and other components as new, new old stock or good used parts although they were submerged, or partially submerged.

The same thing happens in wet basements.

One of the boilers we installed months before Irene ended up 100 plus miles away. The only reason we knew the installer sold it as new is that the customer found our service tag under the sticker the installer covered it with, then called us since the installer wouldn't return their calls after the electronics failed.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:34PM
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lionheart_gw

I think flooding would be covered under the category of comprehensive coverage, not collision coverage.

This may vary by state, but here comprehensive coverage is insurance that would cover flood, fire, damage from a falling tree, or damage from hitting an animal. Pretty much "acts of god" coverage.

Collision would be for just that - a moving vehicle collided with another vehicle or a fence or utility pole. Here it would not cover flood damage.

Comprehensive coverage is elective and some folks choose not to take it, as it does increase the cost of the insurance policy. If you don't have that coverage, then the loss is yours. There would be no reason to report flood damage to the insurer if you didn't elect to have comprehensive coverage.

Maybe if your home had flood insurance and if it works like other homeowner's insurance, you might be able to claim the vehicle as a loss and get some kind of reimbursement as property damage. It depends on how the flood insurance policy works. Does it cover the loss of contents of a garage, for example? I don't know.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 1:44PM
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rob333

From someone who has continued to push her very flooded car past the date it should've run: My flooded car has done remarkably well... with the exception of anything electrical. If your car runs things by electrical impulses, the windows, locks, radiator fans, etc. your car will not run much longer if it has been flooded. Be very wary of a flooded car. My momma says my car is put together with bailing wire and a whisper of hope. The only reason it still "runs" reasonably is because it was made before everything went electrical.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 2:46PM
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jakabedy(Alabama)

CarFax isn't perfect. It's only as good as the information that is shared voluntarily with CarFax. And that information varies widely in detail, timeliness, and plain existence as you look from state to state.

The unscrupulous resellers know how to work the system. And working the system involves moving the vehicles through the states were rebuilding salvage titles and/or requirements for salvage/flood titles are the easiest. It also involves moving the vehicles very quickly before any derogatory information has a chance to show up on CarFax.

I'm not saying CarFax is a bad thing. Far from it. I'm just saying that it shouldn't be relied on as though it is inclusive and up-to-the-minute regarding every event in a particular vehicle's history.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:20PM
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david52_gw

But generally speaking, a consumer isn't going to find one of these cars in a reputable dealer lot, right? Say buying a used car from a Toyota dealership, vs Happy Al's Used Car Emporium?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 3:42PM
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markjames

I've always been amazed that customers spending thousands of dollars on vehicles, motorcycles, boats etc don't check them out more thoroughly.

Many customers say something like "looks good, sounds good, I like it, or I'll take it" and many don't even want a test drive, or a test run on the lake.

If I didn't know anything about vehicles and toys, I'd at least pay an automotive, motorcycle or marine mechanic to perform a thorough inspection.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 4:43PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

A responsible buyer will

a. demand a CarFax
b. walk away from any deal without a CarFax

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:21PM
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markjames

I had a customer back out of a deal since I told them a vehicle I was selling was in two accidents, but they weren't reported.

They ended up buying a used vehicle I warned them not to buy due the history of engine, transmission and electrical problems. To add insult to injury, they bought it from a buy here-pay here car dealer for about 3X market value and 6X auction price.

The vehicle had a clean title, but when I gave them an estimate on replacing the engine, I noticed the vehicle had obviously been in an accident as the fenders, hood and front bumper and radiator were replaced.

The vehicle I was going to sell them for half the price 2 years ago is still going strong.

I saw these customers waiting for a taxi in front of Walmart, so I'm assuming they never replaced the engine or the vehicle.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:58AM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Thousands of them are being parked on a runway by a private developer at Enterprise Park, 53 acres of Riverhead town owned land, in Calverton to dry out for a while (they currently have a 1 yr lease). Then they will be auctioned, hopefully with salvage titles.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:17PM
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chisue

This topic is interesting to me. We were broadsided Oct. 20. I've been trying to figure out how much value we lost because our former 'cream puff' car will now have a Carex report showing an accident.

The at-fault driver's insurance is paying $9K to repair driver's side doors, pillar and rocker panel on our 2005 Jaguar X-Type Sports Package VDP with 22K miles. Even assuming the car is completely repaired, it's lost value by having that report. I guess we're just stuck with that. (Silly teen driver!)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:10PM
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jodik_gw

Much like laws, Brush, a Carfax report is only as good as those people who follow the rules for such things.

If no one reports data on an accident, then for all intents and purposes, Carfax doesn't know there ever was an accident. Carfax can't determine unreported accidents.

Carfax is basically, in my opinion, a worthless endeavor, and a bit of a scam, like so many other things.

Your best bet is, and always has been, having a qualified mechanic look over a vehicle with his own eyes, using his knowledge and experience to determine what, if anything, has ever happened to that used vehicle. A qualified mechanic can tell if a frame has been straightened... or what's been filled, pulled and repainted... what's been replaced... etc.

I've never used Carfax or any other type of service to buy a used vehicle... and I never will.

I bought a used, one owner, '97 Ford Escort with 32,000 original miles on it, and every receipt for every bit of maintenance ever done on it filed neatly in the glove box with the owner's manual, for all of $600, knew everything that it had gone through in its life through a thorough physical inspection on the spot, and am still driving it today. If I had waited for a Carfax, the vehicle would have evaporated for that price tag.

A Carfax on it will show very little. It was bought brand new, had one owner, and that's about it.

Carfax, to me, is very reminiscent of online file storage for a fee, or paying some online service to check your machine for "bugs"... you have no idea who you're dealing with or what they're really doing.

The key factor, here, is honesty.

I'm going to bet that a lot of those cars drying out from the salt water flooding of Sandy will be re-titled, loaded into ship cargo containers, and will re-emerge in Russia, and other countries where vehicles laws aren't so stringent and American Imports are wanted. It will depend upon who purchases them at auction, what connections they have, the makes and models of the cars, and how much money those persons want to make.

Oh, if everyone and everything were as aboveboard as some people think...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 2:42PM
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