• Get A Free Flood Check-You can run a free check for flood damage at www.carfax.com/flood or NICB.org.
• Check The Car's History-Ask for a detailed vehicle history report before you buy. The reports can reveal hidden problems from a car's past, including whether it was in a flood or whether a car was registered/titled in at-risk areas during floods or hurricane seasons. If the seller does not have a report, you can get the car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and run one yourself at a Web site such as www.carfax.com. The site searches a database of 4.5 billion vehicle records to provide detailed history reports on virtually every car or light truck registered since 1981.
• Test It Out-Test the lights, windshield wipers, radio, cigarette lighter and other electronic features to be certain they work. Also, check that all the gauges work. These items are often the first things damaged by floods.
• Follow Your Nose-Sit in the car and pay attention to its smell. Do you smell a musty odor or dampness? If so, flood damage may have occurred.
For more information or to run a vehicle history report, visit www.carfax.com.
Vehicle history reports can alert used-car buyers to whether a vehicle has been damaged by a flood.