Thursday, September 14, 2017

Does that used car pass the smell test?


By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications

Many vehicles wound up submerged in floodwaters from hurricanes that struck Texas and Florida. Unfortunately, some of those vehicles will find their way to other states, including Arizona, where sellers will fraudulently present them to would-be buyers as anything but flood-damaged. As we shared this week, the title for such a vehicle should say it's been in a flood, but scammers can and do find ways around that.Hurricane cars in Houston

Doing research on used vehicles can save you major headaches. Following your nose can help lead you away from buying a car that spent time underwater.

First, check out all of the vehicle’s nooks and crannies. Look inside under the carpet and floor mats and examine the trunk for dirt, silt and mold. Check under the dashboard and other hard-to-reach places as well. Criminals usually don’t clean all of those places. Finally, take a good whiff in those areas. Water damage leaves a distinctive smell.

Check the electrical and mechanical components. Water wreaks havoc on electrical systems, so check to see if any of those systems aren’t working quite right. Also check the engine for signs of rust or even random new parts. Get under the vehicle and check the suspension for water damage. Any of those things could be a sign that you’re in danger of buying a flood-damaged vehicle.

When it comes to buying any used vehicle in a private sale, it’s important to take the time and ask lots of questions. There are no dumb questions in a big purchase like this. If the seller is acting suspiciously, being evasive or uncooperative, walk away. Take the time to find the right purchase.

Here are some additional tools to help you in purchasing that used vehicle:
  • The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) is a national vehicle database established to help protect consumers from vehicle related fraud. You can obtain information on the vehicle’s title, history and condition by obtaining a vehicle history report from an approved provider.
ADOT also has a handy car-buying checklist you may use as a guide when you find that perfect new-to-you vehicle.
Posted by Caroline Carpenter   |  Labels:  car-buying-checklist, Flooding, used-car, used-car-buying


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Civil RightsTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.