How to Avoid Flood Damaged Cars

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by Jason Mason

In this era of electrical engines, some cars are vulnerable to flooding compared to others. In fact, even little water inside a car can permanently damage the vehicle’s engine and electrical components.

Unfortunately, many people lack the technical knowledge to recognize problems in the car’s engine or other electrical components. This is what gives sellers of flood damaged cars an edge over ignorant vehicle buyers. They know that electrical components or engine problems are easier to conceal than exterior damage.

It is easy to spot flooded cars. Always order a VIN check for the car you intend to purchase. Flood damaged cars are supposed to be reported. If the car you intend to purchase was listed as a flood damaged vehicle, you would find the information included on the vehicle history report you ordered. A vehicle history report is also known as VIN report or VIN check.

Even if the vehicle history report for the car you intend to purchase does not report the flood issue, there are other things to look for when determining whether the car is flood damaged or not. You don’t have to be a certified mechanic to recognize that a car had been flooded before. You will need to use common sense. When you are shopping for a car, you will need to be suspicious if you see:

  • New upholstery that does not match the carpeting.
  • Rust under the brake or brake pedals.
  • Rust in high places like trunk latches or door hinges.
  • Mud or silt under the seats.
  • Silt in the glove compartment.
  • Damp floor carpeting.
  • Dome light with beads of water.

There are also other measures you will need to use to determine whether the car you are purchasing had been flooded before. You will need to:

  • Smell the vehicle’s interior. Moldy smell indicates that the vehicle might have been flooded before.
  • Bend wires under the dashboard. After flooding, wires become brittle as sticks.
  • Turn on the ignition to make sure accessory lights and dashboard warning lights illuminate properly.
  • Test the heater, air conditioner, radio, turn signals and windshield wipers several times.
  • Check whether the VIN on the doorjamb matches the one on the dashboard.

It is also a good idea for you to hire a certified mechanic to inspect the vehicle you intend to purchase. Most flood damaged cars are sold cheaply. Don’t be enticed by their prices. Simply walk away from such cars to avoid future financial burden and embarrassments.