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Don't get soaked buying a flood-damaged car


Calgary, July 22, 2013 - The effects of flooding in southern Alberta reach beyond the devastation of house and home, warns the BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay - don't let it find its way into your driveway. 


"We are urging new and used car buyers to be cautious of unscrupulous businesses and individuals who may try to sell flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicles' history," says Sandra Crozier-McKee, the BBB's president and CEO. "It's unfortunate, but it happens, and we'd like to make sure consumers in our area know what to look for when buying a car after the floods.


The BBB recommends the following tips to help consumers determine if a car is flood-damaged:


  1. Ask to see the title of a used car. Check the date and place of transfer to see if the car came from a flood-damaged area and if the title is stamped "salvage."
  2. Check all gauges on the dashboard to make sure they are accurate, and to look for signs of water.
  3. Test the lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, cigarette lighter, radio, heater and air conditioner several times to make sure they work. Also, flex some wires under the dash to see if they bend or crack, since wet wires become brittle upon drying and can crack or fail at any time.
  4. Check the trunk, glove compartment, and beneath the seats and dash for signs of mud, rust or water damage.
  5. Look for discolored, faded or stained upholstery and carpeting. Carpeting that has been replaced may fit too loosely or may not match the interior color.
  6. Check for a well-defined line, or watermark, and for musty odors resulting from mildew.
  7. Check out the reliability of the dealer by contacting the BBB.
  8. If the car's history seems suspicious, ask the dealer or individual directly if the car has been damaged by flood water.
  9. Before buying any used car, always get a pre-purchase inspection by a trusted mechanic. The extra cost may save you money in the long run if major problems are discovered.



Media Contact

Camie Leard, Director of Marketing and Communications

BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay

Phone: (403) 930-3395

Cell: (403) 84-7694


BBB serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay

350 - 7330 Fisher Street SE Calgary, AB  T2H 2H8 - Phone: 403.531.8784 Fax: 403.640.2514