Buying a car, even a used one, might be an exciting life event for you. However, you might be worried and suspicious of all the cars and dealers out there, which is justified. Sadly, it is a common practice for auto dealers to conceal any evidence of water damage while selling.
A severe water damage might affect the safety of the vehicle. Probably the last thing you would want after buying a car is risking your safety and spending time in a repair shop trying to fix a problem that might be irreparable.
Corrosion Signals Water Damage
A water-damaged vehicle is more likely to have much more corrosion in different parts than a normal vehicle would. So, check for excessive corrosion in places like main electrical connectors, ground cables, the block under the hood. A rusty interior of the car also signals water damage. Do not forget to inspect less visible parts such as the bottom surface of the hood and for any metal parts under the seats.
Look for Electrical Issues
As you know, electricity and water do not do well together. Let this basic rule guide you while trying to detect a water-damaged car. Check how well the electrical system operates, you can do that by turning it on and off several times. The same goes for the lights, headlights, brake lights and interior lights.
Water Stains Will Tell it All
Abnormal water stains and lines on the seats and door panel are signs of water damage. Checking carpets might hint at the flooding as well. It is possible for the carpet to get wet from rain or snow, but if there are water stains above the footwells, it is likely to have occurred as a result of water damage. Cars affected by flood might have a moist headliner as well.
Test the Mechanical Operation
Fluid conditions are also worth checking. If the vehicle has undergone water damage it could have affected the engine and transmission, which might likely give the oil a milky color and different consistency. Do not hesitate to do a test drive as it can reveal unusual operating noises that might also signal an issue, which occurred as a result of water damage.
VIN as Your Ultimate Guide
If you follow the previous points, the car will speak for itself if it endured a water damage or not. However, this hint will be useful as well. You can request the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) from a trustworthy source to check the vehicle for any title problems concerning water damage.
If unlawful dealers notice you are uninformed when it comes to cars, chances are high you are going to put extra money in their pocket. By being aware of these common signs of water damage, you won’t let them do so.