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August 26, 2010 09:50 PM

What To Know Before Buying A Flood Car

Sioux Falls, SD


You hear the term flood cars and you may picture a car floating down the street after a hurricane down south.  But Sioux Falls now has its own share of flood cars after the heavy downpours a few weeks ago.

Here's what you need to know before you get a deal on a car that's gotten wet.


When the flooding hit the Sioux Falls area a few weeks ago, water also poured into a car dealer's storage lot.

"Some of the vehicles, it came just above the wheels and seeped into the cars," Barry Termaat of Billion Automotive said.

But instead of collecting insurance money on the vehicles, Billion automotive decided to fix them and hold a flood sale.

"None of the entire components were affected. There were some minor electrical connections, just reconnect with grease in there and a lot of this stuff had to do with smells, carpet, some writing, a few PCM modules; nothing major," Termaat said.

"They're all made to be wet, but not made to be submerged," mechanic Tom Broadbent said.

Broadbent of Airway Services cautions people to make sure they know what they're getting into when they purchase a flood vehicle.

"I'd like a little documentation if I was looking at one. Show me a picture; show me it was under water, how bad it was.  If it wasn't up to the seats, probably not a bad car to buy," Broadbent said.

Billion Automotive says these cars weren't in deep water and Termaat showed us where electrical wiring along the side below the door of some of the cars was replaced, saying the dealership worked directly with Toyota to get the cars back on the lot.

"We replaced everything they told us to do and then some, and so all that's done. Also, these cars still carry a factory warranty," Termaat said.

"That would be key for me.  The next five years, you'd know if something was wet enough to be a problem. The fact that they have the factory warranty means they're confident and they have it fixed," Broadbent said.

Billion says customers can save between $3,000 and $5,000 by purchasing one of its flood cars.
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