Rebuilt Flood Cars (Subaru)

So what kind of sales pitch is needed to convince someone to pay full retail or more for a car that previously saw duty as a submarine…

Why someone would cough up 18 grand for a 7 year old Subaru that is a former flood car with a salvage title is beyond me but I believe in capitalism so have at it.

Is it possible to make a flood ravaged car like new? Yes. But far more have hidden problems that sometimes take a while to become evident.

Are you willing to bet your last $10,000 that the car you select won’t develop flood damage problems? If you had $10K to risk and a specific car you wonted, it might be worth the risk. But if not, I strongly recommend against it.

And, my opinion remains unchanged as well.
Just once I’d like for youall to dis-assemble any computer-ish component that has been wet, including phones and lap-tops.
even the fuse boxes these days.
seat, abs, airbag, keyless entry, and other modules are in many various locations.
Take it apart.
Break it apart if you have to to see the internal circuit boards. Ususally you can take it apart by unsnaping the one-way tabs that hold them together ( they’re not really intended for dis-assembly )

Now take a look at how those circuit boards are sandwiched and layered in there.
Look at all the crappy residue still in there even though it’s been dryed out.

I would never trust any flood rebuild unless all the modules and computer-ish components have been replaced with new…and THAT alone makes a flood rebuild cost prohibative in the first place.

doable, yes, but a complete waste of time, money , and effort …if really done right

Makes a good point. We have brought outboards which dropped in water back to life; but that was years ago and they were pretty simple. The electronics are pretty well sealed, but nothing is perfect. If moisture ever gets in, it has a real hard time getting out. Now, consider not just the electronics in your motor, but everywhere else. You have essentially bought the electronics in a computer, bubble rapped it and thrown into a lake. Now you hope there were no leaks. Good luck. It takes time for moisture to ravage a car. Just enough time to run out of any warranty they give you.

Many , many times, I make ‘‘one good one out of three bads ones’’ be it hair driers , power tools, toys, appliances, or furniture, but I have never considered it cost effective.
If someone were paying me for my time, it’s truly cheaper to buy a new one.
I only do that for myself and my tinkering challenge satisfaction.

After repairing a lot of small appliances,have to agree with Ken Green,but that being said cars and small appliances are like apples and oranges,If the warranty is good I would consider buying a vehicle off these Guys-Kevin(but there would have to be savings up front)

Flood damaged vehicles are a gamble. Even if the electronics are replaced 100%, body structures are full of cavities and crevices not designed to vent and dry out. They’re not designed for submersion. If one has the money to gamble, they could be a good deal. If it’s the buyer’s full budget, the risk is unwise.

The electronics and electricals on today’s cars are jut too complex and too expensive to fix properly after submerging. Plus the federal requirements that all these systems must function for safety and emission reasons.

The Russian car that was retrieved from beneath the lake (in another post) will likely be made to run by taking off many of the electronic systems and be run like a 70s car. Russian emission inspections are very lax or non-existent.

I’ve heard that Russian cars run BETTER after being soaked in water!!!

(Just kidding, guys).

Are you sure you didn’t mean they run BETTER after being soaked in vodka . . .


They SEEM to run better after the DRIVER is soaked in Vodka! :slight_smile:

Kevin makes a good point. It’s all About the warranty. Water takes time to do damage. How about a 6 year 60k warranty for water related damage ? You might then get more interest here.

@Dagosa,very good suggestion,considering that most people are fairly honest and the fact that nothing bad will happen during said period(how about 5yrs-60,000 warranty?)frankly,honestly,believe that these cars will be just fine,because these Guys have pride in thier work-Kevin

… Three to five years just might be enough. I am anxious to find what their warranty is for these “reprocessed” cars . If our friend, the rebuilder is serious about his description of their “rebuild”, there is no reason why something that rivals a new car warranty should be in order. I assume the words"flood car" will follow it around. Not going to be very inticing to the next buyer.

Yesterday, I walked by a Chrysler SUV in a parking lot. It could
Not have been five years if my design recollection is correct, yet was rusting all around the rear wheel well.
That would worry me too as much as anything with a flood car; failing inspection in just a few years even if it still ran.

I looked at their web site and saw they had a 3 day or 300 mile return policy, Did not see anything about a warranty. The price they had for one car I saw just did not seem like a good deal. Besides, 18000 dollars will get you into a decent new car these days.

You get five year warranties on new cars from established manufacturers. What good is a five year warrantee from a four year old company in a single location on a car that cannot be resold or traded without substantial losses?

Is it possible with today’s computerized cars to repair them good as new after it’s been flood, yes, would it cost a butt load of money to do so but you could do it, would I buy one only if it was very cheap.

So I went to the website and found this

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
59,272 Miles

The site also states

““Clean Retail” value of $20,500”

So for a “discount” of $2,500 I get a car that has been flooded, that used parts off a wrecked car, wrecked bad enough that the insurance company totaled it. So I can’t look up the history, I can’t see if the maintenance was done. You really don’t know it the parts are the same, after all you don’t know if the parts came from the same model / year as the car you’re buying. You have nothing to go on really. I MIGHT take a chance if the car was $5,000 - $6,000 range.

3day, 300 miles ? YGTBSM !

" Money back guarantee " in the mold of LL Bean or 3 days, 300 miles ? Because somewhere in between would speak volumes about your confidence in rebuilding your Subarus. The only thing I can tell is, you are doing field experiments which may ultimately determine what you decide for a warranty or even if what you are doing is a reasonable long term business venture. In the meantime, potential buyers are left unprotected with only word of mouth satisfaction to guide them. You could increase your clientele dramatically and avoid much of the skepticism here, with a decent warranty.

There are more unscrupulous sellers of flooded vehicle than there are honest refurbishers. I stand by my feeling that formerly flooded cars carry additional risk, including that of a reduced lifespan due to hidden corrosion, but I also recognize that if the price is discounted to reflect the risk and if one can afford to take the risk, they can be a good purchase.

In summary, if a buyer understands the risk involved, and the price reflects the risk, flood vehicles can be a good bet. But the key here is the critical criterion; knowledge.