How do you know if your car is flooded?
During flood times, many homes suffer the misfortune of having their houses damaged by floods. However, this type of extreme weather can also damage the cars and cause a headache for the vehicle buyers.
Since insurers usually write off about 70 percent of water damaged cars, most owners won’t want to undergo the hassle of making an insurance claim and this can cause some of the affected floods damaged cars being offered to the unsuspecting people for buying.
The problem is that the vehicle owners, where the water damage to car engine has not happened, can decide to dry out their car as best they can. And later, offload it in the used market instead of risking losing their no-claims and excess bonus.
With a lot of cars displaying no obvious flood damage when they are dried out, this could become a serious headache for the car buyers. Flood water can cause water damage that is harder to notice when the car has dried out.
Here are the top best tips on how to tell if the car has flood damage and car flood damage symptoms to ensure that you prevent yourself from buying one of the 70 percents of flood-damaged cars that are written off by the insurers and you avoid ending up with other people’s problem vehicle.
(1) Does the used vehicle you are looking at have any of the windows open? If yes, ask why. It could be fully innocent, however, the seller can be trying to dry off interior or ventilate the damp.
(2) When you open the door, does the interior smell musty or damp? Does the car giveaway the smell of air fresheners? If that is the only thing you can smell, then the air fresheners could be used for hiding the stink.
(3) Get inside the car you want to purchase and experience the feel of the carpets. Check if the carpets are wet and also check the spare wheel and the boot carpet completely for dampness.
(4) Check the condition of the suspension and brake components. Considering the mileage and age of the vehicle you are looking at, does it contain more corrosion than you would expect? In addition, look for silt or sand in odd places.
(5) Can you find any unexplained or unexpected corrosion around the engine bay? Remove oil filler cap and search for a white emulsion on the bottom of the cap. The presence of mayonnaise-like emulsion could imply water inside the engine oil. Or, even worse, failure of a head gasket.
(6) If you are satisfied with the above-mentioned pointers, then here are some more tips on how to spot a flood damaged car. Place the key in the ignition and verify if the entire warning lights are working. Start your engine – have the entire lights gone out? Realize that random dashboard lights are a failure of MoT.
(7) When the car is warming up, ensure all the electric components, like the windows, stereo, and mirrors, are working. Ask why if they are not working.
(8) After some minutes of running, check whether the car windows are steaming up, particularly with the heater on. If yes, then there is moisture somewhere inside the car.
(9) Now check the paperwork. Focus particularly on the V5 logbook. If the vehicle has been registered as C or D Category write-off (uneconomic to repair), then it will be declared here.
(10) If you are still suspicious, then perform a car history check either online or over the phone, with prices around $12.99 and check whether the vehicle has been written off by the insurer. For your peace of mind, it is surely worth it.
(11) To avoid buying a water flood damage car, have an independent car inspection, which usually cost around $150 to $250. An inexpensive option is to get a trustworthy car mechanic if you know one.
(12) Don’t become emotional and allow your heart rule your head. After performing all these checks and verifications, if you are still not certain, then the best advice is to walk away and avoid taking the risk.