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Sep 12 2017

How to Spot a Flood-Damaged Used Car?

Used Cars buyers should be wary of models they want to buy right now. Hurricane Harvey and Irma have left many cars flooded and it is possible that many of those cars will make their way into used car market. Scammers will clean those cars and sell in the market pretending as they are in decent condition. It is can be seen that as many cars have been sold after the previous floods.

It is advised to not to buy flood-damaged cars, no matter how alluring the asking price might be, do not make a deal. Some flood-caused problems can take much time to surface.

Ask an Expert

Used car is an investment. You do not want to buy a car that will cost you money in the long run. If you are good at car inspection, it is still advisable to take the services of an expert.

An expert mechanic will know where to look for the signs of damage.  You may not know about the checking of some places, but an expert can check easily.  

Dirty Details

Much of the debris remains when water recedes around a sitting car. You should check the areas where mud and grass may remain after a flood. Check places like engine crevices, under the dashboard and in wheel wells.

Oil Check

Change in the color may indicate that water has gotten into engine oil. If you are expert at checking your own oil quality and level, you can spot a flood-damaged vehicle by looking at the engine color and viscosity.

Flood-damaged vehicle changes its oil. It may look pale.

Test Drive the Car

A compromised electrical system is life-threatening for the cars exposed to high waters for the extended periods of time. You would like to test the car extensively to check for all the electrical components are operational.

You need to take the car on a test drive to check the electrical system. Listen for unexpected sounds after turning the ignition on. Look for smoke if it appears anywhere. Make it sure that all the dashboard lights come on.

Turn other electrical components on like air conditioner and wipers to look as they work as expected. Do not forget to listen to the radio and check if audio is working fine.

Corrosion and Rust

Corrosion and rust are often visible. Look for signs of corrosion on metals both inside and outside. See if there is rust or corrosion on parts like door hinges, screws, and some others. If there are, it means the car is water-damaged.  

Check the corner where door meets the body. Check all the doors thoroughly.

Buy Smartly

It is better to talk to a reputable dealer when buying a used car. Good dealers will not risk their reputation by ripping off their customers. Ask the dealer if car in question has been damaged by flood and get the answer in writing. Any hesitation or “no” can signal something to concern about.


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