Latest Reader Question: Buy a Water-Totaled Car?

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Here is the latest reader question, along with my reply:

Taylor asks: Eric, would you ever recommend buying a restored car that has been totaled because of water damage? What about any salvaged title car?

My reply: If the price were really good – and the car extremely rare/unusual/desirable – then… maybe.  Otherwise, it’s almost certainly not worth the potential and actual trouble. If it’s a modern car – which is effectively any car made since the mid-1980s, with a computer and EFI and lots of electrical components (sensors, harnesses, etc.) the chances of having to deal with endless “little” (and big) problems are high. With older, pre-computer cars, you could dry them out and clean the mechanical systems and maybe end up with a good car.

You may also have to deal with hassles getting titled – and insured, even if liability only.

All in all – unless it’s a very special car and you get a really good deal on it – it is probably best to walk on by….

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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