Checking A Used Car or Truck For Flood Damage!

With recent flooding in Tennessee and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, I thought it was important to share with you some things to look for when purchasing a used car or truck so that you are sure it’s not flood damaged. Flood damage at times can be difficult to detect but I am hoping these tips from Consumer Reports will help you when you are on your search. You can always get a Car Fax report on the used vehicle you are researching or call your local Fort Worth Chevy dealer if you have questions.

Here are some hints on what to look for:

  • Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.
  • Check the seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. To dry the carpets, the seats must be removed, not generally a part of normal maintenance.
  • Inspect the lights. Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace, and a visible water line may still show on the lens or reflector.
  • Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. Waterborne mud and debris may still appear in these places.
  • Look for mud or debris on the bottom edges of brackets or panels, where it wouldn’t settle naturally.
  • Look at the heads of any unpainted exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
  • Check if the rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors look as if they have been removed recently. It may have been done to drain floodwater.
  • If you need to dig deeper, remove a door panel to see whether there is a water mark on the inside.
  • If you are from an area impacted by a flood and have a car that was not damaged, be aware that buyers may still suspect that it was. Consider having a mechanic inspect the car before you sell it so that you can present potential buyers with a clean bill of health.

    Likewise, months and even years after a major event like the Tennessee flooding, damaged cars can surface in other parts of the country. It best to be vigilant when considering a used-car purchase.

Here is a good video with some tips from Car Fax:

Have you ever purchased a flood damaged vehicle unaware of it? Did it cause you any headaches?

Thanks to Brandi Hodge for contributing.