How Do You Spot a Flood-Damaged Car?


Quick Answer

Spot flood damage on a vehicle by looking for rust spots inside the vehicle, new upholstery or upholstery that doesn't match the carpet, and making sure that the vehicle identification number on the dash matches the one on the door jam. Additionally, be wary of vehicle that's priced well below book value and check whether or not all the electrical components of the vehicle work.

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How Do You Spot a Flood-Damaged Car?
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Full Answer

Areas to check for rust spots include door hinges, underneath and behind the gas and brake pedals, and other metal components of the vehicle's interior. Get behind the wheel of the vehicle and turn on the ignition. With the ignition on, check to see if all of the dash lights, air conditioning, windshield wipers, radio, turn signals and the heater are operational. Because water and electricity don't mix, some lights and essential or non-essential electrical components can short out due to flood damage. Recent flood damage may leave behind beads of water in the dome light and mud residue in the glove compartment. Additionally, check the wires under the dashboard for brittleness, and smell the vehicle to see if you identify a musty smell. If the carpet was allowed to dry without being cleaned or replaced, a smell may be left behind.

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