Used Car Inspection

How to Inspect a
Car for Flood Damage

How to inspect a car for flood damage...
The 7th of 8 steps in the used car inspection guide.

The seventh step to your used car inspection is how to inspect a car for flood damage. This is an extremely important step!

This is an area of a used car buying inspection that many people seem to be very interested in these days. For instance, Hurricane Katrina not only devastated the lives of many people, but damaged over 500,000 vehicles.

Flood damaged cars are some of the worst cars
you could ever be stuck with.

They may seem OK at first, but tend to have nagging and expensive problems that will haunt you and the car for many years to come...if not forever!

Your first indication of flood damage would be the sign of mold, whether by site or smell. Sometimes the smell of a car can be deceiving and it doesn't necessarily mean it's a flood car if it smells musty when you first get in.

I live in the desert and when it is 100+ degrees out here, a freshly detailed interior that's still a little damp can have a rather musty smell when it's been sitting in the sun, but it eventually fades.

To Look For

Take a look under the floor mats and look for mold, smell for mildew and look for obvious signs of water damage.

Look for water lines under the hood (around the engine compartment and on the firewall), on the doors and in the trunk.

While in the trunk lift up the carpet and look and smell for mold/mildew. Check for rust and/or any standing water.

While you are back there look for the spare tire, jack, lug wrench and their condition.

As always...

Get a VIN Check

See the basic information about your vehicle and how many records we have. Enter your VIN to get started!

Don't have a VIN? You can still get a report on a car!

I'd like to stress one last time how bad cars with flood damage can be...If you run a vehicle history report and there are indications that the car has been flooded, then don't just walk away, RUN away!

Now that you've learned how to inspect a car for flood damage,
What would you like to do next?

< Go Back To Step 6
Interior Inspection
|Move On To Step 8 >
The Test Drive

Or you can...

Review the entire Used Car Inspection guide by returning from -
Cars Flood Damage to Used Car Inspection main page

Go to Insider Car Buying Tips home

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