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Q: Would you buy a vehicle that had been in Puerto Rico for 9 years or are problems like rust or flooding too risky?

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I was given a fake CarFax by a seller - I got the real one and a CarProof - no liens, no flooding damage listed, no accident, really clean but she lied about being the second owner, there have been 5 with her, and didn't mention location. The Jeep was in Puerto Rico 9 years, then sold through a Florida auction, then to Georgia. Its 11 years old this year - and has about 40,000 miles. Both the CarProof and CarFax say the odometer was not tampered with.

If I go ahead with an inspection, what should I have it cover? Is there extras like a electrical inspection for possible water damage?

Thank-you! Erika

Vehicle pre-purchase inspections are already comprehensive so you needn’t worry about specifying special or extra coverage. If there is "discoverable" damage on the vehicle it will be found and reported to you. At the same time, keep in mind, there are a lot of devices on a car and they all have failure rates. An alternator could test out OK and have quiet bearings on inspection and yet two weeks later fail. As far as flood damage and the electrical system, flood damage leaves telltale evidence behind such as corrosion and rust inside the vehicle and high water marks. On a modern vehicle, honestly there is so much in the way of electronics if the electrical system were inundated, the car probably would not be functioning well enough to even be for sale. Nevertheless, you are right to be cautious and still check just in case even minor damage, from "minor" inundation, exists. At any rate, damage of most types is discoverable upon CLOSE examination by a trained eye and that, of course, is the whole point of requesting an inspection. If you request a pre-purchase vehicle inspection, that inspection, carried out by a certified Mechanic, dispatched to the location of the car, will give you the data you are seeking.

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