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661-290-2596 | 25835 Railroad Avenue# 24-25 Santa Clarita, CA 91350

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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Juan and Randy did a good job on my car. My car had some trouble and was sluggish but they fixed it right up. Jose always did a fantastic job on my car for years! I had a good experience with them and they got the job done at a reasonable price too. I am planning on taking other family member's car for service since it is hard to find a good mechanic. Thank you Jose, Juan and Randy

, 05/27/2021

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Car & Truck Care

I work for the State. Conner's was recommended to me and they have been nothing but fantastic servicing my State vehicle as well as my personal vehicles. Many times on short notice they squeeze me in. Just a bunch of great mechanics with even better attitudes towards customer satisfaction. Having been a former tool salesmen, I have met many mechanics, and these guys are tops...

, 12/09/2020

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Electrical Services

Once again Conner's goes the extra mile, texting and talking me through some problems with my RV, educating me on how the electrical systems work and getting me back to functioning at full steam so my vacation could continue! Thanks Randy, you're the BEST!!

, 12/08/2019

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Car & Truck Care

Great people and very fair prices! They really take great care of their customers!

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Car & Truck Care

I got into a super bad car accident a couple of months ago and Oscar and Mike, both great workers, were able to fix my car at a reasonable price! Anytime I come here the employees are always welcoming and really make it feel like home.

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Car & Truck Care

They're knowledgeable. Do good work at good prices. Highly recommended.

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