By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Super Storm Sandy has caused unimaginable amounts of damage and chaos along the Eastern half of North America, including leaving most of coastal New Jersey and New York State under 13 feet of water. Parts of Manhattan Island, including the MTA subway tunnels, underground parking garages, and even the streets, were completely flooded, leaving people stranded and cars and trucks abandoned like old toys.
While we'd expect most of those to quickly head to the nearest scrap yard and replaced by insurance, there are some concerns about what happens to a small percentage of cars that slip through the net and end up on used-car lots in states far, far away from Sandy's path.
Our U.S.-based colleagues at MSN Autos are on the case here with a great look at how to protect yourself from things like 'title washing', which effectively rids a soaked car's official paperwork of any notion it's been in a flood.
For those whose cars have spent some time under water, Popular Mechanics has a good step-by-step guide on how to clean it up. Much of the advice has to do with how quickly you can start cleaning out all the water and mud. However, one sentence in the story really applies for Sandy's victims: "Frankly, if the waterline is as high as the dashboard, you will probably be better off talking the adjuster into totaling the car and getting another... Double that for salt water."
Jalopnik has a great article on how to spot formerly soaked vehicles that end up back into the 'system' without the proper paperwork. Using all your senses - including smell - to investigate all the areas where water can hide, or finding evidence that it had been there before. The biggest problem - besides rust - is that so many systems on newer vehicles are controlled by computer and electronics, and we know how well your phone works after you drop it in a puddle, right?
Finally, here's a piece by Click and Clack - car-advice gurus Tom and Ray Magliozzi - not only discuss how to spot water damage and why it's pretty much 'death' for most vehicles, they also offer tips for those who aren't in the position to get rid of their only set of wheels.
Have you ever dealt with a flooded vehicle before? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below.
Photo courtesy Scrapman @ sxc.hu