How to Spot a Flood Damaged Vehicle
If you are shopping for another car, be aware that there may be flooded cars hitting the used car lots. These cars may give a lot of trouble later in the ownership. Here are a few things to look for when searching for your next used car:
If you're buying a used car always have it inspected by a trusted mechanic.
Ask to see the title of any used car you're thinking about buying. Check the date and place of transfer. Did the car come from a state ravaged by floods? Is "salvage" stamped on the title?
Test everything related to the car's electrical system. Test the lights, windshield wipers, turn signals, heater, air conditioner, and cigarette lighter several times to make sure they all work.
Examine the wiring under the dash to see if they bend or crack. Once they've been wet, wires become brittle and can crack and fail.
Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas. These include areas such as around the seat tracks or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment. Have an independent mechanic look for caked mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays. Look in the trunk, glove compartment, under the seats, and dash for signs of mud, rust or water damage. Examine the gauges on the dashboard to see if they're accurate. Check for signs of water stains.