How To Tell If A Vehicle Has Flood Damage: Warning Sings Explained By Expert

Nov 8, 2022

Mike’s Car Store wants to help you stay safe from dishonest used car salespeople. Learn to spot a previously flooded vehicle, even after it has been detailed, with their new guide.

How To Tell If A Vehicle Has Flood Damage: Warning Sings Explained By Expert

Buying a used car can be either a curse or a blessing. Sometimes, you find that you were able to get a reliable, well-maintained vehicle for a great deal. Other times, though, that “great deal” may be a $10,000 mistake, and you might not even notice until it’s too late.

One such trap that even savvy consumers can fall into is purchasing a car that has been damaged by a flood, but which a detailer has managed to cover up. These cars, while typically cosmetically undamaged, may have underlying problems that can hide for months or years before causing a catastrophic failure.

To help you avoid this, Mike’s Car Store has put together a guide on what to look for when shopping for a used car to keep you from essentially throwing money out the window.

Check out the guide, visit

With this information, you can avoid falling victim to scams, and, more importantly, stay safe. According to Mike’s Car Store, a water-damaged vehicle can have hidden electrical problems, such as defective airbag deployment, that may not become apparent until it is too late.

There are a few symptoms of flood damage that may be more difficult for dealerships to hide – that the average consumer should be able to spot. For instance, stained and discolored fabric within the body of the car can indicate that a vehicle was previously submerged, and hiding these stains can be difficult without a full reupholster.

Other tips include checking the undercarriage of the car for odd rust patterns which may indicate abnormal exposure to water. While cars do naturally rust, there may be a water line or other signs of flooding that can be difficult for a detailer to cover up. Rust and flaking within the engine compartment can also be a sign of this.

You can also potentially outsmart even a very skilled detailer by checking uncommon areas of the car that might otherwise get passed over. Looking beneath the plastic seal of the door, the fuse panels, or inside the steering compartment can be a good way to check for mud and other debris that may have settled there if a car was previously flooded.

When buying a used car, you need to think like a scam artist. What parts of the car may be harboring secrets? Where would a less savvy customer never think to check for damage? This kind of thinking can protect you in a market that automatically disadvantages the buyer.

Mike’s Car Store offers these tips as a way to protect you from dishonest sales techniques and from losing money on a car that cannot be resold. While dealerships can legally sell these cars, trading one in can be a different matter entirely, and the potential for loss is significant when dealing with an unscrupulous dealer.

For more tips, tricks, and consumer safety practices, visit

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