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How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

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    Tue 8:00AM - 5:00PM
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    Sat 8:00AM - 3:00PM
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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 People Say About Us

Hixson
  • reviewiconFast Full Service
    General Services, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 02/05/2020

    Maxi Auto service has been taking great care of my cars for over five years now. Gary does a great job, is trustworthy and fast, and always keeps me updated on what I need to do to my car. I recommend these guys for all your auto repairs because of their integrity and good prices. Thank you Gary for taking care my car

  • reviewiconFast Full Service
    General Services, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 01/22/2019

    I had a great experience with these guys today. I usually go to the maxi in red bank but they were slammed full today and randy recommended here. I had a wheel bearing out and they took me in and got me out in under 2 hours. That gary guy might not be the friendliest but we cant all be people persons. The other guy did great work at a fair price. I would go here again absolutely.

Hixson
  • reviewiconBest Auto Repair
    Engine Maintenance, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 08/15/2019

    Called them after terrible service at another shop that was trying to price gauge me and push unnecessary repairs. Spoke with Gary, the manager at this location, and right off the bat he won my business after I expressed some concern about the "suggested repairs" that the other shop had mentioned. He asked it the parts were working, told him yes, as far as I knew, but had been told that replacement was suggested "since those parts are often damaged when doing the primary repair." Without flinching, he immediately responded that, yes, they could replace those parts if I wanted, but that they normally did not change parts if they were in working order. Took car the following morning, repair was completed by that afternoon. I don't know about other reviews, but they did right by me and would gladly recommend them.

  • reviewiconBest Auto Repair
    Engine Maintenance, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 10/29/2019

    Excellent service. They diagnosed the problem with my car, when two other auto shops failed to do so. Highly recommend them. Blessings!

Hixson
  • reviewiconLocal Mechanics
    Car & Truck Care, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 08/20/2019

    I started taking my daughters car here after a horrible experience at Firestone down the road. They have been honest and straight forward with us. They made my daughter feel as if she could trust them and their work over the other repair shops around. Keep up the great work!

  • reviewiconLocal Mechanics
    Car & Truck Care, near Hixson, Tennessee
    , 02/05/2020

    Maxi Auto service has been taking great care of my cars for over five years now. Gary does a great job, is trustworthy and fast, and always keeps me updated on what I need to do to my car. I recommend these guys for all your auto repairs because of their integrity and good prices. Thank you Gary for taking care my car

Call us for service: 423-877-5569

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