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951-697-7708 | 6240 Box Springs Blvd Suite C Riverside, CA 92507

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

It is important for those considering the purchase of a used vehicle to be car care aware and check for signs of water intrusion or contamination, says the non-profit Car Care Council.

"Purchasing a used vehicle and later learning it has been flood damaged can be very problematic and lead to costly issues down the road. Worst yet, these vehicles can be unhealthy to occupy because of mold and bacteria growing in the carpet and ventilation system," said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The Car Care Council and the Car Care Professionals Network (CCPN), a network of professional automotive service providers, say it all comes down to how much water the vehicle took in and where it can be reached and together recommend taking the following steps to determine if a vehicle has been flood 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.

Source: Car Car Council


What Our Customers Are Saying

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The Best Auto Repair Shop in Riverside and Moreno Valley for over 20 years. The are Knowledgeable about all our cars. I highly recommend them for Smog's and all repairs. Awesome Shop, give them a call!

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My family never trusted anybody but my father to work on all of our vehicles, when he passed away three years ago we were all desperate to find someone that we could trust to work on our vehicles. When we found Scotty's and saw the way that he and his wife ran the business we knew the entire family would stick with Scotty's because of their sincere honesty, their affordability and their family oriented way of running the business. I highly recommend Scotty's!

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Scotty's Auto Repair is amazing! I wouldn't take my care anywhere else. The owners and staff are all incredible people!

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Scott and his team are among the best mechanics in the area...and even more important, they have integrity! They stand behind their work and will do whatever is necessary to make it right! I have absolute confidence in the work they do!

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I brought my 2007 4Runner in for a smog check. As always I was provided excellent service. Scott had me out in less than 45 minutes and that included a courtesy check of the entire vehicle. Always a great experience at Scotty's.

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Scotty's has time and again demonstrated incomparable service. Our latest experience involved a last minute smog test for a private vehicle sale. With one phone call, Caren was able to brief me on all of the requirements and immediately get me in to have the car smog tested. Scotty's literally saved the day. Thank you for being such a great business to deal with. It's truly a pleasure!

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