Tell-Tale Signs of Flood Damage in Used Cars
In the previous installment of our flood damage series, we told you what to do if you suspect your car has been flood damaged. In our next installment, we’ll cover which cars are best if you’re living in a rain heavy or hurricane or flood prone environment.
Today we’ll be going over how to tell if the used car you’re looking at has flood damage. Instead of long explanations, we’ve decided to provide you with a checklist you can quickly reference while at the dealer’s – leave a comment in the section below if you have any questions!
- A MUSTY ODOR
- Strong air fresheners are frequently used to mask interior flood and fire damage.
- CHECK THE A/C
- Is it functioning normally?
- Does it emit fresh, clean air or does it smell mildewy?
- LOOK AT THE CARPETING AND UPHOLSTERY
- Is it loose, stained, new, or mismatched?
- Is it damp?
- Is there mud or silt under the carpets, floor mats, or in the seats?
- LOOK OUT FOR RUST
- Check around the doors, under the dashboard, on the pedals, in the trunk, and inside the hood for rust.
- Confirm that any interior screws or springs are not rusty.
- IS THERE ANY MUD OR SILT?
- Mud or silt usually shows up on the carpets, floor mats, or in the seats, but also check the glove compartment, in the trunk, or dried onto the exterior of the car.
- CHECK FOR ADDITIONAL DAMPNESS, FOG, OR MOISTURE RESIDUE
- Remember to check the area underneath the spare tire. Does it have an unusual amount of wear and tear?
- Be cognizant of fog or moisture in the interior lights, exterior lights, instrumental panel, or radio
- CHECK UNDER THE DASHBOARD
- Remember: dampness, moisture, mud or silt.
- Are the wires brittle or otherwise damaged?
- DOES EVERYTHING WORK?
- Don’t forget to check the cigarette lighter – this one can be a dead giveaway.
- Are there any unusual noises coming from the engine ignition?
If you don’t trust yourself, or even if you do, a thorough check from the mechanic can let you know if everything is copacetic. Flood damage should be reported, but title fraud does happen – keep yourself armed with this knowledge to prevent getting ripped off!