How to spot a flooded car

Published: Updated:

Cars submerged in water are all around Florida thanks to the rain and flooding brought out by this storm. That doesn’t mean you won’t see a flooded car on a lot later, seemingly ready to hit the road again.

According to car data company CARFAX, Texas and Florida lead the country when it comes to the number of flood-damaged cars on the road. The Fort Myers-Naples area took the 5th spot on its Top 10 Cities with Flooded Cars list, with nearly 15,000 driving around.

To make sure you don’t end up in a flooded car, run a vehicle history report. You can do that for free on CARFAX, Experian, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau using the car’s VIN number.

Car driving through flooded road near Fort Myers Beach
Car driving through flooded road near Fort Myers Beach, CREDIT: WINK News

Test drive the car. On that drive, pay attention to the electrical systems. That includes blinkers, any lights and the AC or heater.

Check the dashboard and carpets in the car, as well as the trunk and spare tire area, for dampness, rust, dirt, sand or a moldy smell.

Look for stains, rust and corrosion in and around the car.

Check under the hood, too. Look for unexplained leaves, silt and sand in the nooks and crannies.

Lastly, if the price or deal sounds too good to be true, especially compared to other similar makes and models, be suspicious.

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