With all of the talk about “super storms” and massive flooding in our nation, we can’t help but feel bad for the people who live in those regions. We see a few things come from such tragedies: an outpouring of support for our fellow American’s, people becoming more prepared for disaster situations and, lastly, flood damaged cars. There are literally tens of thousands of flood damaged cars that sneak past the system designed to stop those cars from entering the marketplace. How can you spot one? It isn’t easy but here are some basic things you should look for.

  1. Use a service such as CARFAX or Experian Auto Check to determine if the car has sustained any flood damage.
  2. Take a good look around the interior and engine bay for evidence of any water or dirt from a recent submersion.
  3. Recently shampooed carpets could also be a red flag.
  4. Lift up the floor mats and look for any signs of water staining that doesn’t look quite right.
  5. Check for any interior rust or fading of the interior door panels and upholstery.
  6. Check underneath the dash for any signs of water damage and mold or mildew.
  7. Check the electrical relays and connectors for any signs of water or mud and dirt. These things are not usually present in these areas and should raise a red flag if you find them.
  8. Check the console for any rust in the hardware or staining inside and around the console.
  9. Check over the entire electrical system for any corrosion or water damage. This will be the biggest problem to deal with if you happen to purchase a flood damaged car.
  10. Crawl underneath and inspect the undercarriage of the car. Look for any signs of rust or paint that is peeling and flaking that wouldn’t normally be associated with a newer car.

This list is only a guide and should help steer you away from purchasing a flood-damaged car in the future. A good mechanic such as the ones found at GIC Car Clinic can also help you determine if a prospective vehicle has been in a flood.