How To Know If A Used Car Is Flood-Damaged?

by IndianAuto Team | 17/10/2018
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With these simple tips, you can identify a flood-damaged vehicle.

Buying an old car can help you save a considerable amount of money compared with buying a new one. However, if you have bought a car that has been flooded, there might be a lot of trouble. These guides will help you avoid having a soaked car.

cars in a flooded street

Buying a soaked car might cause you lots of troubles

1. Choose a reputable agent

First and foremost, if you want to buy an old car, choose a reputable dealer, which will not fool you to make more profit. To ensure your car is a good one, ask the seller whether the car has been flooded or not. If the seller is reluctant and the answer is not clear, ignore that car. In addition, ask to see the car register to check whether it is from a flooding region or not. Remember that if the car price is listed far too low compared to the market price, there might be some problems with that car.

2. Check the smell of the car

A quick and easy way to identify a flooded car is to smell it. If a car is soaked in water, it is difficult to remove the unpleasant odour caused by moisture. To check the odour, you should sit in the car, close the door and take a deep breath. If there is a musty smell, this car might once be flooded. In addition, if the seller deliberately opens the air conditioning, they must be trying to use the air conditioning to hide the car’s unpleasant smell.

3. Check the seat belt

The seat belt is the detail that many car showrooms forget to pay attention to when refurbishing flooded cars. Pull the seat belt as far as possible to see if the belt is stained. In addition, you should also check the moisture and rust in certain positions on the car. For example, there might be water under the carpet or rust and mud under the spare tire. If a car was flooded, there would be traces of water in some places which car dealers did not expect.

4. Be aware of any sign of corrosion

In addition to rust, the soaked car also has signs of corrosion, which are difficult to hide. You should examine metal details both inside and outside the car such as screws, door hinges, springs, bolts, etc. and check under the car for signs of corrosion. You should also check locations near the rubber or chrome parts. If small bubbles are detected, the car might have been painted quite meticulously to cover the rust.

rust on a silver car

You should check for any sign of rust

5. Furniture

Carefully examine the seat for any stains caused by flooding. If an old car is covered with new carpets, you should be careful because the old carpets and water stains might be replaced.

6. Electrical system

Damaged electrical systems can be a potential hazard to your safety, so make sure you have checked all the electrical equipment of the vehicle. First, pull out wires under the panel and fold them, if they are crispy and broken, the car must have been flooded with heavy water. Second, take a test drive. When starting the engine, pay attention to any strange sounds, smoke or strange odours. Third, check the control panel lights, turn signals and hazard lights. If the lights are dim, they might have been exposed to water. Fourth, turn on the air conditioner and try the wipers to see if they work properly. Finally, you should turn on and listen to the radio in the car, if there is noise or no sound, the car might be soaked. Moreover, if the car is equipped with a new radios, it is possible that the damaged radio has been replaced.

messy wires car electrical system

It is advisable to carefully examine the electrical system of the car

7. Check the engine oil

The colour and viscosity of the engine oil can tell you about the car's past. Engine oil of soaked cars is sticky and has colour of coffee milk or chocolate milk. Besides, if there is dirt in the air filter, the car might have been flooded.

8. Ask for advice from experts

A car is a big investment, so if you are still unsure about the condition of the car, you should ask for help from a person who knows about this issue. They will know how to detect soaked vehicle as well as how to find a good one.

Two people discussing about cars

You should ask for experts' advice for more information about cars

Read more tips and guides from IndianAuto

How To Negotiate To Buy A Used Car For Good Price?​

How To Buy A Used Car In India?​

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