Do You Know How To Identify A Flooded or Salvage Car?

October 4th, 2017 by

The destruction of Irma left behind many flooded cars, salvaged cars, and damaged cars. It also left many of us in dire need of a new vehicle after losing one in the storm. It’s estimated that Irma damaged between 200,000 – 400,000 cars. If Irma left you needing help with a car, your friends at Kendall Toyota are here for you. We are reminded of the importance of sticking together and supporting the community during times like this.

Car shoppers should be aware that due to the high volume of damaged cars some of them might find their way back on the market for sale. Kendall Toyota is a quality-centric dealership that will keep our standards for quality high. We want our customers to have confidence in the vehicles they purchase from us. Upon request, we provide customers with history reports on our vehicles. Whether you are shopping for a new car or wondering if yours is damaged, below are some helpful tips.

What kind of car did Irma leave you searching for? Contact us today for help finding it!

 Tips On Identifying Flooded Cars or Salvage Cars:

#1. Always Check The Vehicle’s History

When you are shopping for a vehicle you should always ask for a copy of the vehicle’s history report. The report should highlight an outline of the vehicles history including information such as:

  • States it’s been registered (if the car came from storm areas, inspect carefully)
  • Some service records may be documented
  • Title status (should show any branding or flood damage)
  • Reported accidents

This is an easy step to take that can help ensure you make the right choice on your new vehicle. If you are purchasing from a private seller you can still obtain these reports online for a small fee.

#2. Smell Carefully For Unusual Odors

A flooded car can have mildew buildup from water exposure for a prolonged amount of time. If a car smells musty or moldy this could be a sign of water damage. Sellers may have trouble cleaning small areas of the car. Check these areas to see if they left any mildew buildup behind.

If the car smells like an overbearing amount of air freshener or cleaning solution scents, beware. Is the seller trying to cover something up? It’s possible the answer is yes. The smell of the air conditioner vents blowing may help you uncover the truth. If you notice a moldy smell entering the car through the air vent after turning it on that vehicle may have flood damage.

#3. Discolored Carpeting Is A Red Flag

If a car is standing in water it can be left with stains or discoloration in upholstery sections. Keep an eye out for any stains or discoloration. If the vehicle has floor mats, pick them up to check for stains or discoloration. Lastly, if you are looking at a used car make sure the upholstery is original. Brand new upholstery in a used car can be a warning sign for a seller trying to cover up flood damage.

#4. Beware of Exterior Water Buildup

While you are inspecting the vehicle’s exterior look for water buildup signs:

  • Headlights, taillights, or headlamps with fogging can be a buildup sign
  • Check areas where water would naturally pool to see if they are damp or muddy. An example of one of these areas can be inside the wheelwell.   If they are damp or muddy this can be a sign of water buildup.
  • A car that sat in standing water or has water buildup may have a noticeable water line. Some areas to check for the water line are the engine compartment or the trunk.

#5. Examine the Undercarriage

Even if you are not a car expert you can still check for obvious water damage to the undercarriage. Abnormal evidence of flaking metal or rust underneath the vehicle can be an obvious indicator of water damage.

#6. Look Carefully For Unusual Dirt Buildup

If you notice dirt buildup in unusual areas this can indicate water damage. Some areas to check carefully are:

  • Around seat tracks
  • Glove compartment (check the carpet underneath)
  • Alternator crevices, surrounding the starter power steering pumps and relays, and behind wiring harness (a mechanic can help you look for caked mud in these areas)

The simplest check you can perform to identify a flooded car or salvage car is the vehicle history report. Do you still have concerns after performing your own inspection? Take it to a professional for a vehicle inspection. Whether you are concerned about your own car or one you want to purchase, a vehicle inspection is highly recommended. Kendall Toyota offers a full-service certified repair center to help you with all your vehicle service needs.

Contact us today and set up a vehicle inspection!

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