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How to spot a flood-damaged car

Posted by on March 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

When you want to buy a used car, you need to be very careful not to buy an already damaged car that is hiding behind a clean facade. A number of things could have happened to a car before it got to you and if you are not careful, you will end up spending money on a disaster waiting to happen.

No thanks to the unfortunate hurricanes seen in recent years, more than 500,000 cars were soaked and damaged throughout the US. In the water-surrounded New Zealand with many lakes, rivers and streams, flood-damage occurs here too. We have many water-logged houses and cars. These same cars are believed to be in the automobile market right now, putting future car buyers at risk of purchasing flood-damaged cars with their hard-earned money. Seek out a reputable car dealership to be totally safe, but if you’re buying privately, or in a less-reputable place, here is how to spot one of those flood-damaged cars and save yourself a lot of trouble.

The Price

This is true for any damaged car, not just a flood-damaged one. The dealers trying to sell these bad cars will offer you an insanely low price, if you ever encounter any dealer that’s offering you a used car for a price well below comparable listings of the same model, do yourself a favour by refusing to buy. There is a high chance it’s a flood-damaged car

The Smell

This is the fastest way to tell if a car is flood-damaged or not. Because it has been exposed to a huge amount of water, a flooded car will have a mouldy smell that you can easily detect by sniffing the car. To get sharper results, close the doors and windows and sniff the car while you’re inside, the smell won’t escape you. Also, check for any mildew growth in the car, that’s a complete giveaway.

The carpet and upholstery

As you inspect the car, check for any strange moisture or rust under the carpet by pulling it up. A flooded car would have some usual moisture hiding under the carpet. To confirm your suspicion, check the condition of the upholstery and look for any fading or brown stains. If you notice the carpet is newer than other parts of the vehicle, you’re looking at a flooded car.

A Test Drive

You’ll detect electrical faults when you test drives the car. Keep your nose and eyes open for any smoke or strange smell as you turn on the ignition. See that all the lights come on and pay attention for any strange sounds.

Listen to the radio, if the sound is distorted, there is a problem. Just like the carpet mentioned earlier, if the stereo is newer than the other car components, the car may have been flooded-damaged so badly they had to replace the stereo. Of course, some stereos are replaced purely for a better sound, but let this remind you to look for other signs.

The Vehicle’s Title

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a car is always constant, so you can use it to find the history of the car you want to buy. The findings will reveal if the car has experienced any accident, flooding or damage of any sort.

Now you can confidently determine whether a car is flood-damaged or not. Go out and get the perfect car for you, and enjoy the experience!

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