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How To Check If The Car You Are Buying Is Flood Damaged

Jun 30, 2016
Buying used cars has its advantages and disadvantages. Cheap might come with a price. The metro is known to have flood prone areas and as such some car owners with a flood damaged car tend to not disclose this due to the fact that nobody will buy the car. As a buyer it is your responsibility to check the condition of the car you are buying. An extended warrant is always a plus. But some warranties do not cover flood damage. So, here are some ways to find out  if a car is flood damaged.




1. Smell the car- Smell the car and distinguish the scent of mold. Any sign of mold or mildew smell is definitely a warning that the car is flood damaged. Normally owners would hide this strong scent with air fresheners. Do not be deceived.

2. Feel the car- Run your fingers and pat on different areas of the carpet. Damp or wet flooring is definitely a sign of flood damage. If dealer allows, lift carpet and check if there is moisture present between the car’s body and the carpet. Make sure you check the trunk for moisture as well.

3. Look for rust and corrosion- Check as many metal parts as you can – door hinges, screws, trunk etc. Bring a mirror, inspect the coils underneath the driver seat. Any sign of rust and corrosion is a flood damaged car. Any other flood remnants like weed, grass or grime are also signs of flood damage.

4. Check the upholstery- Any new carpet may indicate the need of the previous owner to hide previous stained carpets. Remove seat covers to check the upholstery. You are looking for light brown stains that are consistent in the upholstery.

5. Check for electrical damage- check underneath the dash the wirings, too brittle wires indicatewater damage. Usually water destroys speaker systems. Start the vehicle and smell for any smoke scent, listen to any cracking sound in the speaker. Make sure you turn on all headlights, blinker, wiper and radio.

6. Under the hood check- check oil – oil consistency and color is different if a car has been flood damaged. Check filters, any brown stains indicate flood damaging.

7. Body check- foggy headlights may indicate flood damage. Check doors and body for any inconsistency or color change –this will indicate the water level of the flood.Lastly, ask a mechanic to remove tires and brakes to check for any remnants of flooding.

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