Posted on: Sep. 15, 2017 in Cars

Recent flooding in Texas, Florida, and much of the south has been devastating. Many people suffered immeasurable losses, including homes and possessions. Also damaged were many, many cars and trucks that suffered water damage. While flood damaged cars should not be resold without full disclosure (if at all), sometimes these cars do make it back onto the market. Additionally, some may feel that the amount of water a car took on may not be significant enough to mention, thus selling a car they should not.


If you’re buying a used car, especially from an individual rather than a dealer, it’s important that you look for the signs of flood damage.

  • Does the car smell bad? A car should not smell musty or moldy. If it does, something’s not right.
  • Check the hard to clean areas of the interior for mud and caked-on dirt. Check the crevices of the dashboard, for example, as well as under the dashboard.
  • Be sure to look in all the doors, look under the hood, and inside the trunk as well. Again, look for mud and dirt, but also for rust and corrosion. Pay special attention to hinges and other areas that would be harder to clean.
  • Problems with the electrical system could be no big deal, such as blown bulb, but it could also be a red flag for flood damage.
  • Vehicle reports can sometimes tell you if there was water damage to the car, but they are not always 100% accurate. Still, it’s probably worthwhile to obtain one.
  • If the car seems too inexpensive, be wary. Someone looking to unload a car fast may be looking to get away with something, too. Do your homework and if your gut says something’s off, be careful.

It’s important to always thoroughly inspect a used vehicle when considering a purchase. While most people are honest, some are not, and you don’t want to fall victim.

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