How to Spot a Flooded Vehicle

While the damage caused by the recent hurricanes has been nothing short of horrific, some people are trying to capitalize on these unfortunate events. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles were flooded during the storms and many will potentially be sold where you live.

There is a process called “title washing” which is when a middleman intentionally buys a flooded vehicle and hides the vehicle history so no one knows, then they sell it for a large profit.

Electrical and mechanical issues are the most costly concerns with flood-damaged vehicles that often surface well after you have bought the car. Here are some tips provided by Royal Palm Toyota to help protect you from buying one of these flood-damaged vehicles:

Tip #1 – Check the VIN# and if you buy it from a used car lot, ask the dealer for the Carfax report. If you’re purchasing the vehicle from an individual, purchase the Carfax report.

Tip #2 – Smell inside the vehicle for mold or mildew as well as strong cleaning agents and air fresheners to mask the mildew smell.

Tip #3 – Check the oil indicator to see if it’s too high. That means there could be water in the engine.

Tip #4 – Look for new floor mats or rugs in an older model car and for discolored carpet or carpet that doesn’t match the upholstery.

Tip #5 – Examine the headlamps and taillights to see if fog has built up inside from trapped moisture.

Tip #6 – Walk around the entire vehicle and inspect it thoroughly for water lines in the engine compartment or trunk.

Tip #7 – Experiment with the electrical components to see if they all work (each window, door locks, radio, A/C, blinkers).

Tip #8 – Have a trusted mechanic look over the vehicle if you’re unsure to confirm.

We are proud to represent some of the finest Certified Pre-Owned and Used vehicles on the market. If we don’t have what you’re looking for, we’ll gladly work to find it for you. Royal Palm Toyota is a dealer you can trust and we hope you pay us a visit soon.