4 ways to tell if you’re buying a flood-damaged car

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2022 | Auto Dealer Fraud

Buying a used car can be an excellent investment if the car has been well-maintained. Besides, a used car can be reliable and more cost-effective than buying a new one. However, there are some risks when purchasing a used car. 

You must check for flood damage when buying a used car. Water damage can cause problems in the future if it hasn’t already. However, it can be challenging to tell if a car has water damage. To help you, here are things to look out for:

strange smells in the car

A moldy smell in a car can indicate mold growth, which develops due to extended exposure to water. This smell might come from difficult-to-clean parts of the car. On the other hand, be wary of a car with a strong air freshener smell. This could mean that the seller is trying to mask a scent.

Rusty and flaking undercarriage

A little rust on the undercarriage is normal. However, water-damaged cars usually have more rust than expected. So if you notice flaking or a lot of rust on the undercarriage, the car seller is most likely hiding something, and the car has probably seen more water than the owner is revealing.

Stained or discolored carpet and upholstery

Big stains on the carpet and upholstery might indicate stagnant water. On the other hand, beware of a used car with a new carpet and upholstery. The owner might be trying to hide water damage. Pull out the safety belt to see if there is mold or mildew.

Sand in unusual places

Flood water comes with all types of dirt, including sand. So, look for sand or dirt under the carpet, beneath the seats, and in the glove box. Also, check the engine bay for mud or sand.

Buying a flood-damaged car can pose a significant risk to you. If you suspect that a used car salesperson knowingly sold you a flooded car, ensure you seek legal guidance to protect yourself and your investment.