How To Avoid Flood Damaged Cars: 10 Tips To Get A Quality Car

Did you know that a flooded car is one of the most overlooked risks when it comes to buying a used car? Many people overlook this risk. Even some dealers don’t check for flood damage before putting a car up for sale. Even if you buy from an honest dealer (who may not look too deeply beyond the blatantly obvious), there’s no fail-safe way to guarantee you don’t get a flooded car unless you take specific precautions beforehand and do a pre purchase inspection. Used cars often have hidden issues like flood damage and other adverse conditions that involve living through some unfortunate circumstances, but we’re here to help you avoid these problems. With the right tips, finding a quality car and avoiding damaged cars is possible.

 

Know The Signs Of A Flood-Damaged Car

If you’re not 100% certain whether a car has been in a flood, you could end up with a money pit on your hands. Make sure you know the signs of a flood-damaged car before you buy. In particular, look out for water stains inside the engine bay, rust along the car’s electrical wiring, stains under seats and dashboard, moisture in tail lights, stains on door speakers and a musty smell inside the cabin. You may also want to check the car’s title history to see if it’s been declared a flood car. This is not always a guarantee, as it may have been an ‘uninsured’ flood damaged car and simply being sold or traded. If it was an insurance ‘flood damage – write off’ then this will be documented.

 

Research The Seller

Before you visit the seller’s place, it’s important to collect some information about them. You don’t want to go barging in, demanding to see the car if you don’t know a thing about the seller. You can conduct a quick reverse phone number search to find out more about the seller. This can reveal things like their full name, address, and contact details for a business, but generally does not work for private numbers in Australia. It’s also a good idea to run the seller’s vehicle VIN number through the vehicle history report (www.ppsr.gov.au) to see if the car has been in any accidents or has been flooded.

 

Ask To See The Car’s Maintenance Records

When you’re inspecting the car, make sure to ask the seller for the car’s owner’s manual and maintenance records as well. These documents should contain information like oil-change dates and general repair work performed. The more records you can see, the better. Service books on their own are not always true, so invoices that show work from dealers are preferred, and if you can call the dealer/service centre and they are helpful, they ‘may’ be able to confirm that it has been there for services, even if they won’t give you more information, due to Privacy act rules. If the seller can’t produce these records, it’s a big red flag that something is off. The records may have been lost in an accident or flood, or the seller could be trying to hide something. It may even be a car that has had an odometer ‘rollback’. Either way, we recommend you walk away from the deal.

 

Check The VIN Number

To ensure the car’s title is legitimate and hasn’t been tampered with, you should check the VIN number to see if it matches the title. Make sure to run the VIN number through the database to see if the car has been in any accidents or has been flooded. If the car has been in an accident, you should have the seller provide proof of repair. You can also check the car’s damage history report to see if the car has been in any accidents.

 

Look For Discolouration

If you notice discolouration on the car’s electronics, wiring, and other electrical equipment, there’s a chance the car has been in a flood. Check the car’s airbags, seat belt buckles, and sun visors for signs of discolouration as well. If the car’s body panels or interior fabrics have been discoloured by the rust, the car could have been flooded. Keep an eye out for any rust on the car’s suspension components as well.

 

Test The Brakes And Steering

As you’re testing the car, pay attention to how the steering wheel and brakes feel. If they feel too squishy, they may need to be replaced. If the car has been in a flood, it’s likely that the car’s steering and braking system have been affected. Make sure to test them out before you buy the car.

 

Check The Odometer Reading

Most people don’t check the odometer reading on a used car, but you should. The odometer reading on a used car should be consistent with the car’s overall condition. If the seller tells you the car has 100,000km on it but the odometer reading is much lower, there’s a good chance the car has been tampered with. If you suspect the car has been flooded, there’s a chance the odometer was replaced after the water damage occurred. On newer cars, with electronic odometers, this ‘tampering/correction’ is quite easy. However on some makes the km are recorded in various other systems/modules, and an experienced inspector will know where to look, and whether the car appears to be genuine km.

Also Read: How To Avoid Purchasing a Used Car With an Odometer Rollback

 

Confirm The Car Is Certified Pre-Owned

If you’re buying a new car, you may want to consider buying a certified pre-owned vehicle. This is a car that has been inspected by a certified third party to ensure that it’s in “like-new” condition. Certified pre-owned vehicles come with a warranty, so if the car does happen to be damaged. You can have to return it if it was not disclosed or have it fixed. With the right precautions, it’s possible to avoid buying a flood damaged car. 

Follow these tips, and you’ll be one step closer to finding a quality car at a good price.

 

Why It Is Important To Do Pre Purchase Inspections?

Flooding can cause significant damage to vehicles. The damage is not always immediately evident, and may not even have been a major flood or water immersion, but sporadic electrical issues may present themselves, at any time and may be incredibly expensive to trace and repair, and in some cases, be financially unviable. It’s important that you take steps to prevent buying a car with this kind of damage.

Our experts at German  Precision Pre-Purchase Car Inspections will inspect the vehicle for any signs of water damage and provide recommendations on whether the car is flood-damaged or not.

If you notice any signs of water damage in the car you want to buy, such as wet carpet, mould, mildew, or rust stains, call us on 0421 083 390. Our expert technician will come out to the car location and perform an inspection of the vehicle. We will then provide you with a detailed report outlining the condition of the car. Stay vigilant, and you’ll avoid purchasing a lemon.

Check out what our customer is saying about German Precision!

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Pre-Purchase Car Inspection in 2022

If you’re looking for a used car, getting a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection from an expert mechanic will ensure your used car doesn’t end up as just a lemon. Especially during this time in 2022 when used cars prices are still high as a result of the shortage of new cars available, semiconductor shortages, the war in Ukraine and now floods in Australia.

When buying a used car it is difficult to know exactly if the car has a mechanical issue, how much the car has been driven or its history. Although the car may feel just fine on a test drive, it could need serious repairs that will cost you a lot of money in the future. Even in used cars with a warranty, there are items not covered by the statutory warranty or even with an aftermarket/ warranty extension, or there are problems that were not reported. Here’s where Pre-purchase car inspections can be valuable for finding out about potential problems with the used car before you buy them.

Also, if you are interested in pre-purchase car inspections for selling a car, archive, feel free to read my article on selling a car.

 

What is a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

A pre-purchase car inspection is a comprehensive, in-depth check of the quality, safety, performance and value of a used car conducted by an expert mobile mechanic.

In even more simple terms,  pre-purchase car inspections allow you to find problems or damages that were not reported by the previous owner of the car. For example, there could be flood-damaged or frame damage even though the car looks pristine. If you’re wondering whether to have your car Inspected, these services will help you make the best decision and to ensure you are not going to be buying a lemon. Sadly, not everyone is truthful these days so buying a used car can be risky.

Hiring a qualified mechanic to look over the car that you’re looking at buying can provide helpful insight into its value. It is likely that you can negotiate the owner or salesperson down to a realistic price of the car’s worth.

 Pre-Purchase car Inspection in 2022 - German Precision, Australia 

What is Included in a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

 Pre-purchase car inspections can be really comprehensive (depending on who actually performs it) and it checks all the aspects of a car, including exterior and interior checks, as well as checking the engine bay, wheels and tyres, brakes and suspension, plus an electronic scan of faults and many more. 

The car will also be taken for a short test drive to check the engine, transmission, brakes, wheel alignment, body noises, suspension performance etc.

The car inspector has a lot of experience with various types and conditions of cars, so he can provide expert opinions on any car you are considering buying. There are so many more included that will make you feel like you already own the car and know the ins and outs!

A list of the things included in pre-purchase car inspections:

  • Brakes
  • Engine & Gears
  • Radiator
  • Electrical System
  • Transmission
  • Fluids
  • Steering & Suspension
  • Stereo, Radio and SATNAV (if fitted)
  • Heating & Air Conditioning System
  • Instruments & Gauges
  • Underbody
  • Interior 
  • Seats & Seatbelts
  • Wheels & Tyres
  • Body & Paint 
  • Windscreen & Wipers
  • Pictures Of the Car
  • Personal Advice From the car Inspector

After the inspection has been completed, a detailed report will be sent to you along with any additional comments or notes from the car inspector.

If the pre-purchase car inspection identifies any faults or repairs that are required, these issues can be used to negotiate a lower price with the seller before purchasing.

If the car has passed a clean bill of health, you will know that it is in good condition and you’ll know that your purchase is for a safe and reliable car.

As a car buyer, you can ask as many questions about the car as seem reasonable to you. We want to help you get all of the information before deciding on buying or selling your car.

 

Are Pre-Purchase Car Inspections worthwhile?

There’s really only one question here. Are Pre-Purchase Car Inspections worthwhile? 

If you know about cars and work as a mechanic, then it wouldn’t be necessary for you. However, most people are not aware of what should take place in order to make sure that there is nothing wrong with the car they are buying. So getting an inspection would probably be beneficial and it’s definitely worth it.

Your car is an asset and should be treated like it. Why take the chance of buying something that may only last for just a few months? Buying a lemon will put you out of pocket, not to mention at risk.

The benefits of pre-purchase car inspections are worth it for the buyer and seller. We will go into this in more detail below; these inspections are definitely worth getting if you’re planning on buying a luxury car.

Reasons why should you get a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

Reasons why should you get a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

First, Pre-Purchase car inspections could save you a lot of money in the long run. This will help you identify the car problem and heaps of issues so not buying it after knowing the car condition is the best decision. Some sellers won’t tell you about any issues with the car because all they care about is selling it.

Secondly, this is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller. Knowing the true value of a car is an important thing for buyers. It will help you know how much you should be spending, and if they’re ripping you off. This also will help you to negotiate for a better price as well.

For sellers, you will know exactly how much your car is worth so any dealers or buyers that try to negotiate lower prices can be ignored. You can use this as a benchmark and work from there.

Last, even if this is actually the car of your dreams, this inspection will let you know upfront exactly what needs to be repaired. You may even find that some things need to be done straight away. Whereas other issues are just warnings and still have months of good use and it could save you and your family from any dangerous problems in the car when driving down the road. 

 

What If Pre-Purchase Car Inspections reveal problems?

If the pre-purchase car inspection uncovers hidden issues, you can take many different actions.

First, if it revealed unreported issues or damaged surfaces you are certainly at risk of buying a car from an unreliable seller making you question your decision. But what if the seller was upfront about how bad the car condition is. If that’s the case, If the seller is willing to repair any problems before you buy, then you can agree on them taking care of it and negotiating a better deal. 

Car inspections also can be used to your advantage if you are seeking a car that is above your budget. If a pre-purchase car inspection reports hidden problems in the car, you can negotiate down the price at this point.

The most ideal outcome for a pre-purchase car inspection is that the report rates the car as in excellent condition with no needed repairs. A positive report will be an assurance to you of reliability and longevity.

And with this, I hope that some of you now understand what a pre-purchase car inspection is and when it might be necessary.

If you’re looking for your next car, don’t buy someone else’s problem. Get a professional inspector with many qualifications to look over the car here!

A guide on car battery replacement and maintenance

Many people neglect the electrical system of a vehicle until it fails. But with some maintenance here and there you can save yourself money and time in the long run. Car battery failure is one of the most annoying problems that you can easily avoid if you test them regularly and replace them when necessary.

In this article, we will talk about how long do car batteries last? and how to avoid battery early failure, and what causes car battery failure.

 

How long does a car battery last?

On average, car batteries last between three and five years. Your battery’s capacity will slowly reduce over time. You should test your car battery after 3 years of use. Getting your battery tested often will lower the chance of you getting stranded due to a dead battery.

 

Car battery maintenance

Be sure to test your battery voltage regularly. The quickest way to test your battery’s voltage is by using a voltmeter. Purchasing your own digital voltmeters is the easiest to use. The voltage test should be done at least 12 hours after your car has been turned off to get the most accurate reading. Normally, A fully charged battery will typically display a reading between 12.4 and 12.8 volts. If your car battery voltage is anything outside that range. You should take it to a mechanic for vehicle inspection from a mechanic. Dedicated battery testers indicating health/state of charge and condition, are even better. And this is what your workshop will/should be using at each service – if not, ask them.

Secondly, Leaving your car unused for long periods of time will likely cause a problem with the battery not having enough time to recharge. Using your car more often will even make it in an optimal condition, It’s always good to take your car for a drive once every week if possible. This is because of the fact that it will help warm up your engine and circulate your fluids. If you won’t be using your car for a few weeks, it’s likely that the battery will need attention when you use it again. In many cases though, starting a car and then simply driving around the block or a few km, does nothing too little to improve the SOC (state of charge), and in some cases could be detrimental.

Thirdly, make sure to clean your battery regularly. A car battery with grime, dirt, or dampness will have a leakage across the casing to cause a short circuit. This is why you should keep your battery clean and dry! Doing this at least once a month will reduce buildup. The corrosion that accumulates on battery terminals and lead clamps is very common. Corrosion in the Lead clamps and terminals will impede the flow of electricity through the battery. Making sure to clear this grime or build-up is important in order to ensure that your battery lasts a long time and works efficiently.

Lastly, Powering up electronic accessories while the engine is off will discharge a battery more quickly. This is because when the engine switches off, your car’s alternator automatically shuts down and electronic accessories instead drain power from your car’s battery. One way to avoid this is to get into the habit of checking that everything is switched off every time you exit your car.

 

Signs that your car battery needs to be replaced?

it is best to take preventative measures if you are noticing a few signs that your battery might need a replacement. If you are finding your car reluctant to start, it could be a sign that the battery needs replacement. Additionally, If you notice your headlights seem dimmer than usual, it’s time to get the battery checked as It can be an early sign of weakness in the battery.

 

Contact a professional

To prevent your car battery from breaking down unexpectedly, it’s best to have it inspected by a professional vehicle inspector. The next time you go for a vehicle check service, ask the mechanic to check if your battery is working well and charging properly.

Unfortunately, German Precision focus on pre purchase car inspection only and we are no longer able to personally carry out services/repairs, however, due to our period in the industry, we can help refer you to trusted professionals who will look after you, or at least guide you with questions and support post-purchase car checks.

 

Things you should know about German Precision:

  • We provide a complete pre purchase car inspection for a fair, honest price. The car inspection is completely unbiased and honest.
  • We have been in the automotive industry since December 1984. Ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor, and service manager.
  • over 35 years of experience in multiple premium vehicle businesses
  • I am raised and trained in Australia, but I have gained experience working overseas. This includes work in Germany, Taiwan, South Korea. After this long time abroad I returned to Australia.
  • We offer our services across Melbourne and Victoria

 

 

Source supercheapauto.com.au and rac.com.au

Understanding Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI)

When excited buyers get emotionally caught up in the vehicle purchase, they often miss mechanical, cosmetic, and safety issues during visual inspections and test drives. These problems are compounded if the vehicle being purchased is located in another city and is purchased before being seen in person. To eliminate much of the anxiety and get an accurate picture of the condition of the vehicle, many buyers choose to have a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done before the sale is final. 

When should I get a PPI?

A pre-purchase inspection is highly recommended when purchasing a vehicle without a warranty, or when the vehicle is located in another city. When there is no warranty, the buyer is immediately assuming all the risk in the event of a breakdown or major mechanical issue. For this reason, a qualified PPI makes financial sense. Vehicles in other cities present additional challenges when the purchaser is unable to take a test drive. With just a few phone calls, you can often arrange a PPI with a local shop where the seller can drop the vehicle off for a few hours. The resulting PPI report gives the buyer added security during a long-distance transaction.

Where can I get a PPI?

A pre-purchase inspection can be done by any competent mechanic or automotive technician who understands the vehicle you are purchasing. Automobile dealerships and independent specialty shops are excellent resources for a thorough PPI, and they will be familiar with the process. In addition to the traditional automotive shops, there are now national specialized mobile PPI operations that will inspect vehicles almost anywhere in the country. You can conduct an online search for “Pre-Purchase Inspection” to find larger operations.

What should be inspected?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an industry-wide accepted standard or schedule for a PPI. The cost of the inspection generally determines the depth and detail of the inspection. A basic inspection will be mostly visual, which includes putting the car on a hydraulic lift and checking for leaks or broken components. A more involved inspection will include a detailed road test where components such as steering and brakes can be assessed. A thorough inspection will include checking engine compression and a computer engine analysis.

How much should it cost, and who pays?

The buyer typically pays for the pre-purchase inspection. At German Precision, vehicle inspections starting at only $225 ranging up to $295 (most cars are $235-$265). For that price, you can expect a good overall mechanical and safety inspection (including a test drive) of the vehicle.

A detailed inspection of a complex luxury automobile, with extensive engine tests, could cost several hundred dollars or more.

The pre-purchase inspection is usually completed before the sale; however, in some negotiations, the sale is contingent on the completion of a satisfactory PPI. A clean report is an excellent sales tool, while a questionable PPI can end the deal. To be fair to both parties, both the buyer and the seller should agree on the terms of the PPI before the inspection takes place.

We hope we can help you out with your needs.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

source: jdpower