Buyer Beware

In the aftermath of two major hurricanes affecting the States, according to automotive data firm Black Book up to 1,000,000 vehicles will be affected throughout the Texas and Florida region. Many of these vehicles are considered totaled and taken out of circulation of the automotive marketplace. But sometimes, unethical people pass these vehicles off for "freshly cleaned." Though there isn't a way to be 100% accurate, here are some tips from accredited sources.


The National Automobile Dealers Association released 10 tips to help you spot possibly flooded vehicles.
  1. Check a vehicle's title history using the National Insurance Crime Bureau's VinCheck, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System or a commercially available vehicle history report service, such as Experian or Carfax, etc. Reports may state whether a vehicle has been flooded.
  3. Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
  5. Check for recently shampooed carpeting.
  7. Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
  9. Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
  11. Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
  13. Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.
  15. Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
  17. Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
  19. Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late model vehicles. 

Tropical Storm Harvey has dumped more than 19 trillion gallons of water on Texas.


Triple-A has also launched their recommended tips.
  1. Check the vehicle's history and acquire a CARFAX Vehicle History Report. The report may reveal if the car has been in a flood or been issued a salvage title.
  3. Be alert to damp or musty odors.
  5. Check for carpet or upholstery that has been replaced or recently shampooed. Pull back the carpet at different areas and look for mud, dirt or signs of water stains.
  7. Look for dirt building up in unusual areas, especially the underside of the dashboard. This area is hard to clean.
  9. Inspect for rust under the vehicle. Corrosion is uncommon in new vehicles and those that are owned and operated in warmer climate areas.
  11. Look for rust, mud, dirt or discoloration in body seams and small out-of-the-way crevices on the doors, under the hood and inside the trunk.
  13. Ensure electrical components, such as lighting, the heater/AC fan, window motors, and more are all functioning properly.
  15. Get a pre-purchase inspection of the used vehicle by a trusted mechanic.


It's always best to visit trusted dealers. Accredited dealers should have high ratings from 3rd parties such as Google,, or DealerRater. Here at Deery Ames, we are transparent with all of our vehicles. Our service department is also more than happy to help facilitate in any inspections you may need. Stop by today, we are here for you!

Deery of Ames

Deery of Ames is committed to living in the world of our consumers. We're here to communicate publicly and freely, here to answer questions, here to provide solutions to your automotive problems. We're here to make sure that we build a strong and lasting relationship with each and every one of our guests, both in sales and in our service department. The real truth is, you can get a good vehicle and a good price from just about anywhere.  Our goal is to provide such a level of expert service that the place you decide to purchase from and service with, is us. We are here to Create a Tradition of Service. Let's grow together!

Make an Inquiry

By submitting your contact information, you consent to be contacted by telephone about purchasing a vehicle or obtaining vehicle financing. Clicking on the Submit button above is your electronic signature.