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How To Spot A Water Damaged Or Flooded Vehicle

Jun 25, 2008
A good portion of vehicle sales in the United State are used vehicles and while you may know what to look for in an average used car that would throw up a red flag to warn you not to buy it, do you know how to spot a water damaged car? These vehicles have had their windows left open during a heavy rain or worse, been the victim of a flood. There are a lot of ways to tell whether a car has been water damaged or not and in most cases, these are not vehicles that you want to purchase. Most of them will require a lot of work to get running right again and a lot of them will not ever run right again. Here are some ways to protect yourself.

One of the first things that you will notice about a water damaged vehicle is the smell of the interior. Mold growth typically happens in these vehicles when it was wet inside and let to dry out in the sun in warm conditions. If the vehicle has not been allowed to air out during that period of time, the musty odor will be very prominent and you will be able to smell it almost immediately after opening the door. Sometimes car dealers will spray air freshener inside the vehicle to try and hide the smell, so if you smell flowers or a rain forest when you open the car door, something is probably rotten and it is probably not just the car. Walk away.

Another thing to look for would be signs of rust in the car's interior or in the trunk, especially around the tail lights. You should also check the carpeting for signs of damage, as well. Carpet that has been under water or wet for a substantial period of time will smell very bad. This is especially true if it has been in flood waters contaminated with sewage.

There are also likely to be problems with the engine if a vehicle has been under water because of the fact that flood waters will contain sand, sewage, and other types of debris. This can cause the engine to misfire and all kinds of other things.

Electrical damage is also possible when a vehicle has been under water, especially in some of the more recent models in the past 15 to 20 years. Vehicles these days are typically loaded with a lot of electronics, so you want to make sure there are no electrical problems.
About the Author
Rachel Yoshida is a writer of many topics, visit some of her sites, like
Chicago Water Damage restoration and Boston Water Damage Restoration .
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