How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle


It is important for those considering the purchase of a used vehicle to be car care aware and check for signs of water intrusion or contamination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

"Purchasing a used vehicle and later learning it has been flood damaged can be very problematic and lead to costly issues down the road. Worst yet, these vehicles can be unhealthy to occupy because of mold and bacteria growing in the carpet and ventilation system," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council and the Car Care Professionals Network (CCPN), a network of professional automotive service providers, say it all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it can be reached and together recommend taking the following steps to determine if a vehicle has been flood damaged:

  • Take the sniff test. Close all the windows and doors and let the car sit for about five minutes then crack open a door and sniff. Mildew and mold have very distinctive smells and it doesn't take long for that smell to present itself.
  • Try the touch test. Get some paper towels and press them against the low spots in the carpet. The paper towels will draw the moisture out and reveal if the carpet is wet under the surface. Some carpets can be several inches thick to insulate from heat and sound. If the paper towel becomes wet it could mean water has gotten into the car.
  • Investigate the interior. Look under the seats and dash for corrosion and rust and look for exposed metal that is untreated. There are metal springs under the front seats that are usually not painted. If they are rusted that is a sign the interior has been wet. Look for mud and debris in places it does not belong.
  • Inspect the instrument panel. Turn on the key and perform a bulb test. Make sure every bulb lights up. If a system has an issue, removing the warning bulb can hide it. Many times vehicles that have flooded have malfunctions in their anti-brake and air bag systems. Ensuring the light comes on and then goes out after the bulb test is an indicator that the system is on and has no active faults.
  • Take it to a professional. Let a service and repair technician inspect your vehicle. They can raise the car and look underneath to see if there is any mud, sticks or rocks in the suspension. A professional can check the oil in the differentials to make sure they contain no water in them. Spend a few dollars to have it looked over to give you peace of mind.

Source: Car Car Council


Reviews

Quote reviewiconCourteous, Quick & Fair
Car & Truck Care, near Lawrenceville, NJ

They have serviced both of my cars and in each case did an excellent job. They are courteous, quick and the prices are very fair. Highly recommended.

Quote reviewiconHighly Recommend
Car & Truck Care, near Lawrenceville, NJ

I've been taking my two family cars to this shop for the last three years and have always had good service. Jeff is an excellent mechanic and is honest, thorough and reliable in everything he does, which is the most important part for me. I've even had an instance where the repair went bad and he fixed everything at no charge and apologized for the inconvenience. I always receive a call when the car is ready; and, since the gas station is open late, I can pick up the car at just about any time. Labor rate and parts costs are about average for the area, and its no problem if you want to bring your own parts to them. Highly recommended.

The best in car care! Honest, trustworthy, thorough, very professional, friendly, reliable...I cannot say enough to capture the best service and people in car care service! Thank you, Jeff, Gus, et al.

Partners

lukoil
autoparts warehouse
Confidence Plus
Car Care Aware
TAP TO CALL NOW 609-896-1520 X