September 28th, 2017 by

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, Carter Chevrolet wants to remind consumers to be on the lookout for flooded cars. Did you know Hurricane Harvey reportedly damaged 500,000 to 1 million cars alone? This is double the number of vehicles that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Aside from checking the vehicle’s title history, there are some other ways to ensure a car wasn’t flooded.

Water damage can be hard to detect, but Consumer Reports recommends to look for some telltale signs.

How to Spot a Flood-Damaged Car

  • Inspect the carpets: Check to see if they show any signs of having been waterlogged, have a musty smell, or have caked-on mud. Brand-new carpets in an older vehicle signal as a red flag.
  • Inspect the lights: Headlights and taillights are expensive to replace. A visible water line may show on the lens or reflector.
  • Turn on all the power options: Check the windows, locks, wipers, AC and make sure they all work.
  • Inspect the difficult-to-clean areas: Look in the gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood. You may find waterborne mud and debris in these places.
  • Search around the engine department: Water lines and debris can appear in hard-to-clean areas, like behind the engine.
  • Look at the heads: Check out any unpainted and exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
  • Listen for a “crunchy” sound: You may notice this when you move the seats forward and back. It could be a sign that sand or dirt made it into the car.
  • Check the seat-mounting screws: See if there is any evidence that they were removed. To dry the carpets effectively, the seats would have been removed, and maybe replaced.
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