Checking for flood damage before you buy a car - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Flood damage on used cars

Flood-damaged cars come with electrical and mechanical problems that may take months or years to surface.

If you are in the market for a used car, there are some signs to look out for:

- Inspect the carpets to see if they are wet, damp, or muddy.

- Look for a visible water line that may still show on the lens or the reflector.

- Inspect the difficult-to-clean places, such as gaps between panels in the trunk and under the hood.

- Pop the hood and look for a waterline on the sides and back of the engine.

You may also want to check out the federally sponsored car-tracking database, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. Sometimes referred to as the "wreck registry", its aim is to crack down on the practice of "title washing" - when cars that have been totaled (or stolen) get clean, new titles.

And there's one more step to consider before you buy the car of your car of choice - make sure you have it inspected by a mechanic.  

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