In their September 24 2018 Florence Report, AutoCheck Auctions says “According to news reports, Hurricane Florence could have damaged as many as forty thousand vehicles in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.”
We have to start off by saying that a very high number of potentially flood damaged vehicles is one of the many reasons we pay for vehicle history reporting services like CARFAX, because as an independent family-owned used car dealership in Raleigh NC we have our name and reputation at stake, so we try our very best to not add vehicles to our inventory that have been in a flood.
When you buy a used car from a car dealership, they should be providing a vehicle history report on the vehicle you are considering. Even if you get a vehicle history report, there is a chance that flood damage is not on there, because the flood damage may not have been reported to an insurance company which in turn never got reported to the history report provider. That may also be the case if you are buying a vehicle from a private individual and don’t use a report service yourself. Car buyers should know that there are some telltale signs that a vehicle has been in a flood.
Along with their report, AutoCheck Auctions gives some tips for spotting a flood damaged vehicle. All that being said, we always recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection done weather you are purchasing a vehicle from an individual or from a dealership.
- Check the outside body panels for waterlines.
- Check the carpet, upholstery, and inside doors for mud, dirt, damp feeling and discoloration.
- Check beneath the vehicle’s carpet to see if the pad beneath the carpet is damp.
- Check for dirt buildup around seat tracks.
- Check under the dash and in the glove box fir dirt of dampness.
- Look at the owner’s manual. Check to see if the paperwork was ever wet.
- Waterlines could be visible inside the car. Look at the seats, inside doors and door jams.
- Smell the inside of the vehicle. A musty or damp smell can be a good indicator of flood damages. Way too much air freshener?
- Make sure all the dash lights are working properly. Do the turn signals work?
- Check under the vehicle for corrosion, flaking metal underneath.
- Check inside the engine compartment for waterlines, dirt, or mud.
- Are the headlights or taillights fogging?
- Check the air cleaner for water.
- Check the oil to see if there;s a copper or milky color which could indicate water damage inside the engine.
- Look for water in the spare tire compartment.
- Look inside the trunk for dampness, dirt, or mud.
In this video from Roadshow they give some visual places to inspect when trying to spot a flood damaged vehicle.