You can find out if the used vehicle you've been eying has ever been damaged by water or in a flood by going to Title Check and viewing the title history report. However, while you are out shopping, there are some signs or clues you can look for that may indicate the vehicle has water damage.
|The vehicle was damaged by freshwater flood or by flood of unknown origin.
|Salt Water Damaged
|The vehicle was damaged by saltwater flood.
How to Spot a Water-Damaged Vehicle
The following inspection tips may help detect significant water damage on a vehicle:
- Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
- Check for recently shampooed carpet, and check under the floorboard carpet for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
- Look for rusting on the inside of the car and under interior carpeting, and visually inspect all interior upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
- Check under the dashboard for dried mud and residue, and note any evidence of mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
- Check for rust on screws in the console or other areas where water would normally not reach unless submerged.
- Check for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
- Complete a detailed inspection of the electrical wiring system, looking for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
- Inspect the undercarriage or other components for evidence of rust and flaking metal that would not normally be associated with late model vehicles.
While these inspection suggestions will not detect water damage in every case, they do provide some information to protect consumers from purchasing a vehicle damaged by water, such as flood. If you are considering purchasing a vehicle that you suspect may have been damaged by water, consider having it inspected by a licensed mechanic.