A car that has been drowned can look normal when you inspect it, sit inside, and even when you do a test drive.
It is impossible to see any damage. However, this does not mean that it will work properly or that you will not have serious problems with this car over time.
Want to easily identify a drown car? Then we have a couple of recommendations for you:
- Use the DMV VIN checker to access the full history of the vehicle — from its technical specs to its use-related data. By reading the VIN code of the vehicle, you will find out when and where it has been manufactured/ assembled, who owned the car, and whether it has been involved in any accidents/ has been damaged;
- Explore the passenger compartment — If the car has been in the water for a long time, this can be determined by the presence of dark lines inside the passenger compartment. They indicate a high concentration of moisture.
- Check if there are any new electronic devices — Pay particular attention to the dashboard. New parts on it may indicate that the vehicle may have been damaged by water. That’s why some components may have been replaced.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to run a comprehensive car check and identify that it has been drowned. Fortunately, there is a way out that will prevent such a situation from happening.
Get a VIN Report
There are certain things you need to do when buying a pre-owned car. Reading the vehicle history report is one of the checks that you should never skip.
To access the data, you only need a vehicle identification number (VIN). Thus, you will know everything that happened to a car. Besides, you can also get information if insurance payments were made due to car damage, etc. If the car is marked as “salvage,” you can also find this data in the report by VIN.
Next, check the title deed and documents proving ownership of the vehicle. Vehicle Management (DMV) is marked “salvage” if the vehicle has been deducted from insurance or severely damaged. Simply put, you can determine if it was damaged so much that the amount of damage exceeded the actual value of the car itself.
Vehicles with such a mark are generally not recommended for ordinary customers. A salvage car must be inspected by a qualified mechanic who knows what problems and issues may arise when operating it.
All in all, when buying a pre-owned car, it is recommended to run a thorough check of the VIN report, which will help you make sure that the purchased car will not cause you a lot of trouble. If you lack experience in this business, it is better not to risk and order professional assistance.