How to tell if a car has been flooded and what to do about it
How to tell if a car has been flooded and what to do about it
5:33

How to tell if a car has been flooded and what to do about it

Cars
Speaker 1: Repairing a flooded house. That's bad enough, but to me, a flooded car is an absolute lost cause. Here are the steps you can take to make sure you don't plunk down hard earned cash for old salty Speaker 1: Flooding has just become more common in more places, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York city, Germany, places that have never seen big floods suddenly are getting them. Combine that with the fact that new [00:00:30] cars are extraordinarily hard to find right now. And you end up with a higher likelihood that you may be funneled toward a used car that may have been in a flood. The first step you want to do to a avoid that is to look it up in the master database, N M V Ts. It's run by the department of justice with data from the insurance industry. And what they do is supposedly pull all the title records together. So you can see if a car you're interested in has a flood or salvage due to flood title. [00:01:00] Now, this is not a perfect day base. There's such a thing as title washing, when a car is sold, typically wholesale from one state to another, and because of lax rules between them, the flood title drops off in the process or the flood damage might have been repaired, DIY or cash. In which case it never hit the insurance industry's radar, but it's your key for, or step after that though, you gotta look at the car Speaker 1: And that means you get inside [00:01:30] and do the simplest thing. Just trust your nose. You smell any mildew and be honest, don't be so in love with the car and buying it that you ignore what your nose tells you. If you smell mildew at the you've got a problem and you probably need to walk away, modern cars have such good weather seals and materials that are so relatively water resistant or that dry out quickly. That to find mildew in a late model, car is really weird. Therefore you've gotta assume it either is flooded [00:02:00] or has had a long term leak through either a sunroof gas, get maybe a do gasket or some other really weird water incursion event. Speaker 1: Now, even if you don't find any mildew smell in your first test, look around while you're in here and don't be bashful. Pull back the carpet mat obviously, but pull back the carpet a little bit and look under there for any dried water lines, silt that's dried, or hopefully not any moisture is still in there. There shouldn't be water this high [00:02:30] inside the foot well of any car, unless it's got a really bad heater core leak, which you don't want to deal with, or it's been flooded also while you're under here. Look under the unfinished metal surfaces that hold the dash together. Every car seems to have these now this old, truck's got some rust here on this unfinished metal bracket. That's fine. It's an old car. If you're looking at a 19 three series and it's got surface rust underneath the dash run, don't walk another great tail is down here. These bolts [00:03:00] that hold the seats on almost any car you find 'em in the same place. If those are all rusty on a late model car, that's a big red flag too. Cuz water tends to get down here first and dry out of here last. And so these get a lot of moisture in a flood car. I violated my own rule on that. Once bought a car with rusty seat attachment bolts. It bothered me, but I didn't do the right thing. Had that car about nine months before I donated it, Speaker 1: Take a peek in a wheel. Well front or rear, [00:03:30] ideally one of each, and these are always dirty places filled with spray of moisture and grind from the road. That's not the issue. If you see a strange on a natural, horizontal dried waterline that may give you pause, especially if said waterline has silt on the lower half and is cleaner on the upper half, that really tells you a car got submerged. And in something that it shouldn't have been, these are fairly easy to clean out with a pressure washer. So you can be fooled, but it's worth a peak. [00:04:00] And a general rule of thumb is if it's a truck or an off rotor, that's a different level of sensitivity than if it's that again, prototypical late model three series. I don't wanna see a water line at or above the top of the tire that does not let me sleep well. And this is easier on a truck than on a car. But if you want to get under and look at these drain plugs, these rubber plugs like this one and I think that's interior. Yeah, that's an interior drain. Also, if these are new plugs on a car that otherwise has a nice dusty patina on it, [00:04:30] or they've been disturbed, it's clean around them. Like they've been removed and put back in recently, that means somebody had to drain the bathtub beware. Speaker 1: Okay, now we're going under the hood. This is definitely flood sleuthing 3 0 1. But if you've got the HUPO and the scales pull apart, one of these multi conductor wiring harnesses, the lower on the car, perhaps the better and what you should see in there is bright and clean. This. One's got some dialectic grease on it, but I'm not seeing any of that furry corrosion [00:05:00] you see like over there on the battery terminal. That's a good thing. If I see that, that means I'm going to have problems that I may spend the rest of my life and all my money, trying to fix electrical parts, getting immersed in flood water is your number one problem with a flood car. And this all may seem like a, a lot of work climbing around, pulling things out sellers. Aren't gonna like it in many cases, but I guarantee you you're really not gonna like it. If you buy [00:05:30] a salty car.

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