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Old 05-18-2018, 11:24 AM   #1
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Question for you Ultra Wise Mechanics and Car gurus

So I saw quite a few trucks on Autotrader: Ram 2500s, 2014s, 2015s, 2016s, with under 60K miles, Ranging from $22k to $35k. I was shocked. When I looked last month I couldn't find one under 34k to save my life. So the DW chimed in and Said well Gas prices are skyrocketing, also Cars from the Houston area that were in the Hurricane Floods are "flooding" the market and dealers are not telling you, but alot of inventory was damaged and now they have to get rid of it. Naturally I agreed. But since she's not very mechanically inclined, she wanted to Know, What happens to a car when it floods? what happens to it's motor? Why do insurance companies declare them a Total Loss? She asked why not just open the hood and car doors place it under the Southern Texas sun and let it dry up in 96 to 106 F degree weather. Any of you Fine Mechanics, Mechanical Engineers, Mechanical Savants LOL wanna take a stab at this? I'm just kidding, anyone is welcome to contribute. Thanks in advance.

PS. I know it's cheaper to replace it than repair it. I had a brand knew Elentra that got flooded, and the insurance Co. declared it a total loss.
The DW wants to know what happens to the Actual motor and systems.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:04 PM   #2
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There are a lot of electronics that will fail due to the water intrusion and mold will be real happy with the moist interior. The engine and transmission will get water in them and cause rust along with the rest of the driveline. You would need to replace so much of the vehicle it is not worth repairing.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:13 PM   #3
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^^^. And that's without going a step further and factoring in that it's likely to be at least partially saltwater intrusion which is even more expedient in oxidation/corrosion.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:17 PM   #4
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I'm not really answering your question but don't assume that they are all flood vehicals. Rams are always a few grand cheaper in the lower trim models.

With that said I would steer clear of a flood vehical because the electrical components will never be right. And most mechanics will never be able to get all of the bugs out of it.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:35 PM   #5
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Here in Jersey after Sandy. They collected all the flood vehicles and stored in a field until an auction. Who knows where they went after that. Easy enough to change states and reregister. ABC news here proved it in this area about flood cars being sold here after Katrina. Big country to hide flood cars in. Do vigilance in buying a used car now!
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:54 PM   #6
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Corrosion in electrical components, connectors, circuit boards, modules, etc, etc etc...

Corrosion on metal components, part spieces, etc.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:15 PM   #7
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If a vehicle is submerged, a lot has to do with what happens immediately. As a kid, if an outboard fell off the back of a boat, pulling it out of the water and rinsing with fresh water the quicker the better often worked at helping rescue the motor. They could often be dried out and restarted.

A car or truck that gets damaged often is left sitting until the insurance company determines it's a write-off. It's then cleaned up on the surface, but inside the water just keeps on doing its damage. An older, simpler vehicle might be made useful, but modern ones, with electric door locks, windows, ECU, and so on are going to be an expensive and constant problem child.

If you can inspect the vehicle before buying, pop a panel or two off and look for mud. Even just pushing cables aside under the hood might reveal sediment traces. If you can't inspect the vehicle, I'd pass on it unless you do all your own work and have a junkyard of spare parts handy.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:27 PM   #8
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My brother in law bought a Porsche Boxter that was flooded and salvaged. He drove it with no issues for 5 years until his buddy wrapped it around a tree.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bahamaniac View Post
My brother in law bought a Porsche Boxter that was flooded and salvaged. He drove it with no issues for 5 years until his buddy wrapped it around a tree.
Wow. pretty sad. For the porsche I mean. J/k. I think I bought 2 cars in my life that were flood vehicles. A Mark VII, beautiful, Never had a problem with it for 4 yrs, then the driver window stopped working. LOL. My sencond one was a ford crown vic, Oh I loved that car, had it for 6 yrs, drove all over texas for work. One day sitting at a light the engine head cracks. Needless to say I sold it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:27 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for y'alls clarifications, the DW and I really appreciate it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:10 PM   #11
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I bought a 1998 Buick Lesabre at a public auto auction once with a clean title that I thought was a good deal. Over the next 2 years, I kept having little problems mostly electrical issues, cooling fan motor, alternator, rack & pinion replace, front bearing hub, etc. One time I removed the drivers door inside panel to replace the window motor and I discovered a distinct rust/mud line 1/2 way up the inside door which also explained the musty smell the car always had.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:12 PM   #12
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Run away....You are just buying a cheap headache.
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:50 PM   #13
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the drive train can be salvaged on a flood car. The motor, trans, and rear end are in an oil bath so even if water did enter... not a big deal.


I used to buy a new used car every few years. Now its not unusual to see $20,000 used cars with 100,000 miles on it!! Aint no way!
Diesel trucks... forget it!



I hope gas goes to $6 gallon and mortgages go to 10%+ ... its about time folks get a taste of inflation and unmodest living. Shake the tree!!



Ironically I gave my son my 4runner I bought new in the late 90s. Its way better than most of the garbage being sold in the $5,000 range.



Also I got so tired of the amount of "use" on used cars at the $10,000 price point... just went down to Hyundai and bought a brand new 2018 elantra for $16,500 otd. Whole transaction took 25 minutes. I will NEVER buy another used vehicle again unless the price is just too low to resist!
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181;4195664[B
1 If a vehicle is submerged, a lot has to do with what happens immediately. [/B]As a kid, if an outboard fell off the back of a boat, pulling it out of the water and rinsing with fresh water the quicker the better often worked at helping rescue the motor. They could often be dried out and restarted.

A car or truck that gets damaged often is left sitting until the insurance company determines it's a write-off. It's then cleaned up on the surface, but inside the water just keeps on doing its damage. An older, simpler vehicle might be made useful, but modern ones, with electric door locks, windows, ECU, and so on are going to be an expensive and constant problem child.

2 If you can inspect the vehicle before buying, pop a panel or two off and look for mud. Even just pushing cables aside under the hood might reveal sediment traces. If you can't inspect the vehicle, I'd pass on it unless you do all your own work and have a junkyard of spare parts handy.
1 This is important any electric motor needs removed and cleaned and lubed.
(if you want it to work for more than 5 mins)

Also it depends on two other things just as much.
1 Just how high did the water get? I have seen cars totaled because they had as little as 6 inches of water in the floor(barely in the seats)

Water lines are usually easy to find in the trunk.

2 What was the type of water that got in the car? This make a VERY BIG difference. The least damaging is just your basic clear rain water in a neighborhood street. least damage=easy clean as well.

Muddy stream water. this is pretty bad it will kill switches because you can't get the grit out of the switches during cleanup.

Salt water = its a good parts car for brackets, bolts, and glass. Run like the wind.
Salt water will rust the seams of the body out from the inside.
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