10 ways to spot if your car has flood damage

If you are looking to buy a car, be alert for sellers trying to offload flood-damaged cars.

You may think you’re buying a bargain, but you’re possibly just storing up a whole load of problems for later, and a flood-damaged car that hasn’t been properly repaired could be dangerous. You’ll need to weigh up the risks when you decide whether to buy the car or not.

To help you spot a flood-damaged car, here are some tell-tale signs...

1. Is there mud or muck in obscure places, like the glove box or ashtray?

2. Is there water damage to paperwork which is stored in the car, like the user manual or log book?

3. If there are tools in the boot, are they rusty?

4. Is there a damp smell, or a strong smell of air freshener that could be masking something else?

5. Are the windows covered in condensation? This could mean the interior is damp.

6. Check underneath the oil filler cap, which has an oil can symbol on it. A whitish deposit means water in the engine.

7. Check the headlights and rear lights. Is there water inside?

8. Does the electric system work? In a flood, things like the lights and electric windows can suffer.

9. Is there excessive rust or corrosion around the engine under the bonnet?

10. Put the heating on. If the windows steam up, water could be trapped in the ventilation system.

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