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When major weather strikes our nation, it can cause a lot of problems for the affected areas of the country. These extreme weather changes pose a potential threat for inexperienced car buyers to be swindled into purchasing a water damaged vehicle. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips that should give you an edge to examine any used car you’re interested in buying and determine if said vehicle has been previously water 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.

If you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle, the best thing you can do is get your car in for a used car inspection at Integrity Automotive. We can look in places that you wouldn’t think to look yourself and our inspections are very comprehensive. They will tell you what maintenance is due recommended by the manufacturer as well as point out any current repairs that could be upcoming. If you have any questions or are looking for purchase recommendations for vehicles, please don’t hesitate to speak with our service advisor. Give us a call at 317-573-0107 at any time.