In my search for a vehicle I came across a great deal. I found a car know for reliability with a beautiful leather interior to match a classy exterior. How could I afford it? They were selling it for 30% below bluebook. Now we wonder what's wrong with it. We kind of need to know before buying it. People don't just throw away thousands of dollars. But that answer was simple. It has flood damage.
Now I know next to nothing about cars. I have little experience with mechanical things in general. It really is just an experience thing. When I've tried in the past, I've picked them up fast enough. I feel like I can use common sense to get though this sort of thing. When I apply common sense to this problem, it seems like a great deal.
I brought a friend, and sat in the car on a humid day. We took a whiff. We smelled nothing out of the ordinary. Common sense tells me that if the cabin had been exposed to water for any length of time, we'd be smelling mildew and such. Again, using common sense, that tells me that the electronics are probably fine since they are mostly in the cabin.
Now the engine is being replaced, and the electronics are probably fine. It comes with a one month bumper to bumper warranty. I don't see a lot of other things that can be expected to go wrong. And if there is something else to worry about, what are the odds it would cost more than the thousands I'm saving? Common sense says, "Buy this car."
But I don't actually know about cars. Common sense has been leading people astray since the dawn of time. I asked the experts, and they all say the same thing. 'Under no circumstances would anyone ever buy a flood damaged car at any price.' Okay, I'm exaggerating, but that is the sentiment I got. I actually hired a mechanic off of Fiverr to ask specifically about long term damage potential. He would not buy it either. He said that connections wear over time, and they will ware faster if they've been exposed to water.
Shorter replacement cycles on parts that will wear out anyways doesn't seem like a reason to pass up this deal, but I just can't bring myself to choose common sense over the experts.