Bargain cars may not be such a bargain after all

Monday, July 15, 2019

Congratulations to the Wagner Auto crew and sponsors for probably the best car show that’s ever been presented in McCook, on Saturday following a fun Friday night cruise night on our main drag.

The lovingly restored muscle cars from years past, and even the rusty “rat rods” show a dedication to the transportation America loves and pulls like-minded enthusiasts and fans together for an enjoyable event.

It was another example of the kind of civic-minded effort that builds community, extending many miles from McCook itself.

It probably wasn’t the first most of the classic car enthusiasts ran into each other. They doubtless have an active network, parts and tips, encouraging each other to create and restore iconic automobiles.

Knowing who you’re dealing with when it comes to vehicles is more important than even now, following weather events earlier this year.

The advent of the internet has affected the automotive industry as much or more as any other, making it easy to find research on average prices, recalls and damage history, all to the advantage of the consumer.

Before you bid or hit the “buy now” on a vehicle over the internet, consider the possibility it has been involved in one of the recent floods, in Nebraska or elsewhere.

At a minimum, get a good look or professional inspection of the vehicle before you plunk down your hard-earned dollars.

The Allied Inspection Management company, a sister to the Kelley Blue Book folks, offers the following tips on telltale signs of flood damage:

-- A musty odor in the vehicle that might result from moldy carpeting or padding. If possible, pull up the carpeting to check for moisture or mud residue.

-- Moisture or mud residue in the spare tire well in the trunk or glove box.

-- Mud or sild residue in the front seat tracks or door hinge boxes. If possible, remove the door liner to check inside.

-- Look for light surface rust on exposed stamped steel brackets under the dashboard and instrument panel or under seats, components that would not get wet in normal situations.

-- Water or condensation in the headlights or taillights. This might be either from an accident or a flood.

-- Power doors or lift gates that don’t function properly.

-- Corrosion in the vehicle’s undercarriage, brake lines or around the fuel tank. Corrosion on top of the springs or shock towers are likely signs of flood damage.

Better yet, car shop with someone you know, a local dealer who can easily address any concerns you have after the sale.

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