How to Tell if a Used Car Has Flood Damage

Think you’ve found the perfect used car from a private seller or a used car lot? There are deals out there that look too good to be true. A nearly-new car with almost no miles on it for half the price of a new one seems awesome. But does it have some hidden issues like flood damage? In Hurricane Harvey, more than 500,000 cars were flood damaged. Those cars are starting to make their way to used car lots and owners all over the country. Buying a car with flood damage might seem like a great deal at the time, but it can leave you in worse shape than you thought.

How to Tell if a Used Car Has Flood Damage

Don’t be one of the unsuspecting people who gets stuck with a used car from Hurricane Harvey, or flood damage from anywhere. Here are a few tips to discover flood damage on a used car.

Rust in Unusual Spots

When you’re checking out a used car, look at the bottom seam on the doors, the strut towers under the hood, and the spare tire well in the trunk. If there’s rust in these spots, there’s a chance it’s been submerged in water. Rust is like cancer to a car – it spreads and can shorten its lifespan by years.

Water Stains on the Interior

Look for water staining on places it shouldn’t be. Check the seat backs, the door panels, on the consoles, and nooks and crannies in the dash area. If there is water staining, you should be curious about why it’s there. There’s a possibility water has been up that high in the car.

Warning Lights on the Dash

Electrical issues happen when a car has been submerged in water. Wiring and connectors become corroded, and that can set off warning lights. Be aware of warning lights flickering and coming on for no reason.

A Branded Title

As always, get a vehicle history report for any car you’re looking at. If it has a branded title with flood damage in its history, you should walk away.   If you buy a car with flood damage, it might look like a good deal at the time. Yet, when you have problems or want to sell it, you’ll find out it’s worth much less than you thought. Instead, choose a used car from a respected dealership like Frank Leta Acura of Springfield. Each used car has been thoroughly inspected and its history checked so you aren’t saddled with a problem car.