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VIN and Flood Damage

Cars get flooded via rain storms, tropical storms and hurricanes. Many flooded cars are determined to be totaled by the insurance company and are hauled to the junk yard.

But, surprise, many of the cars and trucks are bought and resold as a used car. This is one of the major complaints when buying used cars. Major hurricanes cause many cars to be totaled and have their titles labeled by insurance companies as “Flooded”.

How To Spot Flood Damage.

  • Look for water lines inside the engine. A car sitting in a few feet of water will leave water lines on the radiator, on the engine, the wheel wells, inside the car, inside the door panel, inside the trunk. Car dealers may have cleaned the engine or outside of car so you will need to examine closely.
  • Examine the carpeting or upholstery. If the carpeting or upholstery is new, especially in an older car, it may be due to flooding. Lift up the carpeting and look for evidence of water or mold or a damp musty smell. Check for rust by the door hinges, and look in the trunk underneath the mats. Check the spare tire and crow bar, make sure they are not rusted.
  • Check the air filter. Often the air filter, made of paper fiber will reveal in it has been soaked.
  • Run the car title search using Car History Reports on the car, which will show if any insurance companies had to total the car or brand it as “Flooded”. Don’t just run the free Lemon Car Analysis, do the full report.