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516-292-4342 | 522 Peninsula Blvd Hempstead, NY 11550

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

It is important for those considering the purchase of a used vehicle to be car care aware and check for signs of water intrusion or contamination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

"Purchasing a used vehicle and later learning it has been flood damaged can be very problematic and lead to costly issues down the road. Worst yet, these vehicles can be unhealthy to occupy because of mold and bacteria growing in the carpet and ventilation system," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council and the Car Care Professionals Network (CCPN), a network of professional automotive service providers, say it all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it can be reached and together recommend taking the following steps to determine if a vehicle has been flood damaged:

  • Take the sniff test. Close all the windows and doors and let the car sit for about five minutes then crack open a door and sniff. Mildew and mold have very distinctive smells and it doesn't take long for that smell to present itself.
  • Try the touch test. Get some paper towels and press them against the low spots in the carpet. The paper towels will draw the moisture out and reveal if the carpet is wet under the surface. Some carpets can be several inches thick to insulate from heat and sound. If the paper towel becomes wet it could mean water has gotten into the car.
  • Investigate the interior. Look under the seats and dash for corrosion and rust and look for exposed metal that is untreated. There are metal springs under the front seats that are usually not painted. If they are rusted that is a sign the interior has been wet. Look for mud and debris in places it does not belong.
  • Inspect the instrument panel. Turn on the key and perform a bulb test. Make sure every bulb lights up. If a system has an issue, removing the warning bulb can hide it. Many times vehicles that have flooded have malfunctions in their anti-brake and air bag systems. Ensuring the light comes on and then goes out after the bulb test is an indicator that the system is on and has no active faults.
  • Take it to a professional. Let a service and repair technician inspect your vehicle. They can raise the car and look underneath to see if there is any mud, sticks or rocks in the suspension. A professional can check the oil in the differentials to make sure they contain no water in them. Spend a few dollars to have it looked over to give you peace of mind.

Source: Car Car Council

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TESTIMONIALS

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Needed my passenger side rearview mirror replaced after somebody's ignorant kids knocked it off my car. I thought he was overpriced, but he was able to get the mirror the next day and paint it to match my car exactly, so I got it. The guy (Louis) was nice though and once I got there, it only took about 10 minutes to put it on...a month+ later and it's still holding up well and the color is exact...so fresh in fact that I know how crisp the paint looked when the car was first bought!
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Love love my car. They did a good job fixing my car. It took a little longer than expected but when I got my car back it was good as new. If you need an auto body person this would be the place. Luis was very helpful and friendly too.
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Superb! Not your run-of-the-mill body shop.
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This place towed my 2009 Acura after an accident. The guys here spoke to the insurance company for me, got me a rental car, and repaired my car. The repairs look great. They also cleaned the entire car for me. I would definitely take my car here again.
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At first I was skeptical about leaving my car with the repair shop that towed my car but the manager here was very friendly and helpful. They filed the claim with Geico, and had the rental company pick me up from their shop. After the car was repaired, they cleaned my car and provide lifetime warranty on the repair. I cannot even tell the car was in an accident. I would definitely bring my car here again.
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Awesome guys, bought a car from them that was totaled, and there were no hidden mysteries for me to find when I got it home. Everything they described to me was to the T, and were super nonnegotiable on time frames. Very reputable sellers, and I will absolutely be doing business with them again!