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The opportunity to buy a $114,000 2022 Ram TRX for thousands of dollars less is a tempting thing for sure. With very few miles, or possibly brand new, it might be too good to pass up. But what if we told you the cheap TRX has flood damage? How about flood damage serious enough that it won’t start? Still interested?

What’s wrong with this 2022 Ram TRX?

2022 Ram TRX
2022 Ram TRX flood truck | IAA

That’s the situation now as lots of 2022 TRX pickups are beginning to show up on auction sites with flood damage. In the case of this TRX, located in Des Moines, Iowa, the instrument cluster won’t display mileage so determining the mileage is impossible. That is only one of what could be many problems this and many flood-damaged vehicles have. So what should you do if you’re still interested in spite of the many unknowns? 

Before you even look at it you need to access your skills, access to information, and budget. Especially your budget. This isn’t a matter of cleaning up the interior, buffing out the paint, and then taking it on a trip. Depending on a number of factors, this could almost be unsalvageable, believe it or not.

What about the Ram TRX factory warranty?

2022 Ram TRX
2022 Ram TRX flood truck | IAA

First, keep in mind that the factory warranty is void. If you get the truck running, and something happens six months from now, it’s your dime. And usually, a dealer won’t touch it. And if the water has risen to the height of the transmission and engine, rebuilding both is the only thing to do. There is no other way around it. 

You’ll need access to someone who can tie in a possible new instrument cluster, along with a multitude of sensors, to the existing ECU. Almost every component from the door locks to the HVAC switches communicates many times a second with the ECU. And they’re programmed so that if they’re swapped out, the ECU won’t recognize them. When that happens, the truck won’t start.

If the flooding involved salt water, you’re in for some serious corrosion issues with any metal part that came in contact. That includes said sensors and wiring. Replacing wiring harnesses in newer vehicles is a difficult, though not impossible, process. So another thing you need to access is if you have the time it may take to replace components, as well as time-consuming things like replacing wiring harnesses. 

How much will the TRX cost to fix?

2022 Ram TRX
2022 Ram TRX flood truck | IAA

In dealing with projects such as putting this Ram TRX back on the road, the goal is to factor in your time and cash outlay. Once factored in, if the price you pay makes it a worthwhile outcome, then you might have beat the odds. However, the odds are stacked quite high against you unless you get this really cheap. And this truck won’t sell cheap because it is worth a lot of money for its parts.

Look at some of the other projects you’ve taken on over the years. A bathroom remodel or building a treehouse for your kids. Did it take longer than you anticipated? Did it cost more than you anticipated? It’s almost impossible to factor in the time and cash outlay accurately. 

I always apply the Steve Davis cost method. Who is Steve? Just a friend who has built dragsters and does some of the best metal shaping around. He figures out as close as he can how much a project will cost, and how much time each task will take to complete. Then he multiples those two estimates by three. 

The prices of your past projects can advise you on this one

2022 Ram TRX
2022 Ram TRX flood truck | IAA

That’s right, he says that is the best way to determine how much it takes in time and money for most projects. Looking back on your past projects, is he right? In most cases, it has proved to be accurate. 

And we haven’t even discussed mold and nasty smells. If the seats have been soaked, you’ll probably need to replace them. And you’ll absolutely need to replace the carpet. The potential for detecting other issues might just come down to fixing the last issue. It’s like Whack a Mole. You fix one issue, and then a new one is discovered the last one was hiding. 

We could go on, but you get it. The unknowns mean this could cost well above the $114,000 purchase price of a new TRX. And the fact it is worth a ton as a parts car means it has value far beyond what would make it a potential money-maker for you.

If you’re interested in this vehicle, you can find it on the IAA auction site. Good Luck!


Flood-Damaged Cars Are Back on the Market: Here’s How to Avoid Buying One