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Signs a car has experienced water damage

It is estimated that up to 1 million vehicles were damaged in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. However, water damage may not be readily apparent when a person buys a vehicle. California residents and others looking to buy a used car should study a vehicle's history report prior to buying it. This report is generally required to indicate if it has a salvaged title or was otherwise damaged in a flood.

Anyone who is in the market for a used vehicle should always have it inspected prior to buying one. This is because a previous owner may sell the car before the title's status changes. It is also possible that a seller moves the car to another state where titling laws are less strict. While an individual may be willing to deal with the damage on their own, the water the car came into contact with could have been contaminated.

This is likely if a car was submerged in water during a hurricane. In addition to contamination, vehicles that have been damaged by water may have a musty odor to them. Other signs that a car may have experienced water damage include water in the engine oil or a crunchy noise when moving seats back and forth. Sand or dirt inside of the vehicle is another clue that it has been damaged by water.

Cars that are defective may be covered under the state's lemon law. If the law applies to an individual, that person may be entitled to receive compensation equal to a car's market value. Other forms of compensation might be available depending on the facts of a case. A vehicle is generally deemed a lemon if an issue that the manufacturer is aware of cannot be repaired after multiple attempts to do so.

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