Are You Getting A Used Car or Truck? Have You Checked For Flood Damage?

May 18th, 2010 by

This has been a very wet spring all across the United States, and with record floods across the midwest, I started to think about the flood damage left to 100’s of vehicles. If you are in the market for a used car or truck there are a few things you can look for to check for flood damage. Sometimes flood damage can be difficult to detect, but I am hoping that these tips can help you detect flood damage easier when you are searching for a new car or truck. Thanks to  Consumer Reports for these helpful tips and hints to look for. If you still have doubts after looking over the used car or truck you can check the Car Fax report or call your local Cincinnati Cadillac dealer with questions.

  • Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
  • Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed, not generally a part of normal maintenance.
  • Inspect the lights. Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace, and a visible water line may still show on the lens or reflector.
  • Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Waterborne mud and debris may still appear in these places.
  • Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels, where it wouldn’t settle naturally.
  • Look at the heads of any unpainted exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
  • Check if the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors look as if they have been removed recently. It may have been done to drain floodwater.
  • If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see whether there is a water mark on the inside.
  • If you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car that was not damaged, be aware that buyers may still suspect that it was. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you sell it so that you can present potential buyers with a clean bill of health.

    Likewise, months and even years after a major event like the Tennessee flooding or Hurricane Katrina, damaged cars can surface in other parts of the country. It best to be vigilant when considering a used-car purchase.

Look at this video with some tips from Car Fax:


Have you ever unknowingly bought a flood damaged vehicle?

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