West Orange, NJ (CBSNew York) Mechanics in the tri-state area are experiencing an influx of vehicles with water damage from last week’s storm, and experts warn if you’re in the market for a used car, be careful, because the water Loaded, damaged cars may end up being resold.
Cars soaked in floodwaters and stranded are among the stunning visuals of last week’s storm.
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A few days later, the mechanics are full of cars for repairs.
Even a little water can do a lot of damage, says Matthew Stern, owner of Mirror Image Detailing in West Orange.
“Just at this stage, sometimes that can be more than enough to provide a short circuit and ruin your vehicle’s various electrical functions,” he told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis.
On the surface it may look dry, he says, but it’s important to take a closer look. Water was trapped under the carpet in a vehicle.
“Turns into mold, mildew and smells pretty awful,” Stern said.
Mechanics say it’s important to have your car inspected after a flood, and if you’re in the market for a used car, experts say, buyer beware.
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“The problem is that if a flood-damaged car, whether it’s from Louisiana or Westchester County, is shipped to a different part of the country, that vehicle can be sold as a legitimate used car,” Consumer The report said automotive expert Mike Quincy.
Quincy, along with the New York state DMV, warns that some sellers will try to hide damages by taking the car in a different state to obtain a new title. They recommend that you check whether the title was released during the hurricane period — in this case, September — and peruse the resources to learn more.
“They can go to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, they can go to VINCheck, they can go to Carfax,” Quincy said.
Ida Plus pandemic production shortages are creating a perfect storm for rental companies and dealers as well.
“I know some local dealerships in Bridgewater, they were badly hit by the water… even dealerships with cars, do they even have enough for people? So it’s statewide, Not just here,” said John Bentz with the Manville Office of Emergency Management.
It may be a bumpy ride, but experts hope these tips will help car buyers avoid major roadblocks.
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Meanwhile, Governor Phil Murphy announced partnerships with ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft to help people who have lost a car get a ride. Click here for more information.