Storms and floods can cause major problems for cars and car owners. A car can be flooded numerous ways from faulty weather stripping to being in an actual flood. Because the extent of damage can be so varied, there is no one answer for what to do about a flood damaged car.
In some cases, such as an actual flood, the car will not be able to be repaired. There are some parts to a car that cannot be repaired from water damage. If the water damage is severe, even exchanging parts gets to be more expensive than buying another car. There are instances, however when the car can be repaired even in the event of an actual flood.
Water damage from leaks in the car can also be varied in the extent of the repair needed. Obviously, you will want to fix the site of the leaks as soon as possible to avoid further damage. If you are buying a used car and want to try to be certain it has not been flood or water damaged there are some things you can do.
Getting a title search will tell you the complete history of a car. Because the title is based on the VIN or vehicle identification number, it really can’t escape a title search. Every repair and every insurance claim is marked against a VIN. If you do not want to do a title search then you may be taking chances, but there are some things you can check for.
- Flex the wires under the dash. If a car has been water damaged the wires often become brittle when they dry and will break when flexed.
- Smell for mildew. Mold and mildew odors are extremely hard to get rid of.
- Check the carpets to see if the entire carpet matches and if there are any obvious loose spots, which may be where the carpet was replaced. This does not necessarily mean flood damage, but it is one of the signs.
- Test the car by starting it and checking the front and rear lights and the dashboard lights. Your ABS lights should come on as well as the seatbelt light. One big indicator of water damage is with the electrical system in a car.
- Take the car to a mechanic you trust to have it checked. They will know exactly what to look for and will be able to give you the answers you need.
As long as there are people out there without morals, there will be people who try to sell flood and water damaged cars. The best way to check is a title search. No car can escape the records kept on the VIN of any car. It is like a fingerprint or DNA. Take whatever precautions you need to avoid buying a flood and water damaged car.