Be Suspicious

Attention to Detail: Be Suspicious

With the recent devastation of Katrina in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, many dealerships and individuals had their cars serve as flotation devices. While many of those cars were totaled, an alarming number weren't. What happened to them you ask? AUCTIONS happened. They were salvaged, reconditioned and possibly sitting at a dealership near you or are in the classifieds. Now if the buyer was notified of the true history of the car before the purchase, everything would be fine; but unfortunately many times an unsuspecting buyer winds up with a car that a month ago served as an aquarium.

As the saying goes "there's a sucker born every minute"; let's make sure we're not one of them. The job at hand is then to educate ourselves to find out whether a particular car has been flooded. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sniff out any odors that may suggest mold/mildew in the interior (don't forget the trunk). Also be suspicious of any tutti-frutti smell; the last time I checked, Porsche wasn't offering that option (it suggests an attempt to mask an odor that couldn't be removed).
  • Feel the seat padding and carpet for any moisture. Try to get your hands under the carpet. Also check the metal on the floor for any corrosion. In the trunk look under the spare and also examine the tool kit.
  • Look for water lines (ring around the collar) in the wheel wells and in the engine. Don't forget to look in the glove box and in the door pockets.
  • Inspect for premature rust by taking off easily removable parts (i.e. the headlights, foglights and bumperettes on the newer Porsche's). In addition check the seat rails and surrounding area by raising the driver's seat all the way up and sticking your head under there with a flashlight.
  • Examine the owner's manner for water damage.
  • Look for evidence of water inside the head and fog lights. These are costly and many a time are not replaced.
  • Examine the engine closely. Pay close attention to the hose clamps for corrosion.

In closing, remember if something doesn't seem right to you, walk away; that's why God gave you legs. As always, should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us. May the wind be always at your back and may you achieve your pursuit of detailing perfection!