How To Spot a Flooded Car for Sale Before It’s Too Late!

Brace yourselves for this incoming November as the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) reports that a monsoon season is approaching with chances of flash floods. If anyone recalled during the Taman Sri Muda floods, vehicle thefts have been reported by opportunistic scavengers looking to turn these vehicles into scrap or to be sold for a quick buck. Such a case has found its first victim as Funtastiko reports a man purchased a used Toyota Yaris without knowing it was a flooded car until it was too late. This begets the question: how do you spot a flooded car offered by a dealer?

Read More: How to Drive Through Flooded Roads

First Impressions, Surface level

Check the Inner Trimmings of the Vehicle’s Seat Belt

Flooded car have wet seatbeltsNo matter how well-done a shoddy refurbishment for a flooded car is, there are still some intricacies that tend to be overlooked. If you are suspicious that you’re viewing a flooded car, give the seatbelt a yank till it cannot be pulled any further. If this is a flooded car, the inner trimmings of the seatbelt tend to be damp and sometimes caked in dirt and mud.

Sniff and look around for a damp or mildew smell. 

Flooded car have a musty, mildew smellFlood water usually contains all sorts of nasty stuff that it can pull up from anywhere. Once the water subsides, flood-affected areas seen in pictures are commonly caked in mud and dirt. If you have never been to a flood site, picture the smell being just like damp soil that occurs after heavy rain. This odor is known as a mildew smell. Pull up all the floor carpets to check for wet and dampness around the car. Also, do take note if the cabin of the vehicle is bombarded with plenty of air fresheners.

Start the Car. It’s That Simple.

A foolproof way to test the vehicle on the spot is as simple as starting the engine. If you hear clicking noises from the car, it’s a sign that the starter relay is either faulty or water damaged.  

Read More: Vehicle Left Sitting and Your Car Cannot Start its Engine? These Might be the Culprits.

Devil’s in the Details. Here’s What to Spot.

Moisture Seeping Into the Engine

Flooded car have wet engine dipsticksWater droplets on your dipstick is a small indicator that this is a flooded car being sold to you. (Source: Scotty Kilmer)

Assuming the dealer did not change the engine oil, take out the dipstick and observe it. A flooded car will either have a milky or damp dipstick. This is a sign that water has successfully seeped into the combustion chamber.

Check the Color of the Engine Oil

Flooded car has chocolate milk-like engine oilSource: qmotor

Proper running engine oil will always be brown or black like your ex’s heart. If water has seeped into the engine, the engine oil will look brownish, chocolate milk in color since oil and water do not mix well. We apologize if we may have ruined your favorite beverage with this image. 

Rusty or Brand New Screws and Springs

Flooded car have rusted parts due to oxidization Check underneath the metal hinges and screws under the car seats. Flooded cars tend to have plenty of rust or mud residues hidden in the intricacies of the vehicle. On some occasions, a hardworking shoddy dealer will attempt to replace any rusty bolts and screws with brand new ones. Always ask the dealer what happened to the old parts and why they need to be replaced to get a better picture of the vehicle’s background.

Damp or Brand New Air Filters

Flooded car have water lines visible in the air filtersLook out for the yellowish line on the filter. (Source: Boost Brothers)

Just like metal parts, keep an eye out for still-damp or brand-new air filters located inside the air filter box. Soaked air filters have a visible water line to indicate how badly the water level affected this vehicle. Additionally, check the insides of the air filter box for smidgens of brown mud in it.

Read More: Dangers of Buying a Flood Affected Car

Choose CARSOME Certified for Complete Peace of Mind

Fret not about buying a flooded car with CARSOME! Every CARSOME Certified vehicle has to pass a stringent 175-point inspection to ensure they are free from any major accidents and flood damage. They have also been refurbished professionally to provide you with quality pre-owned cars that come with safety beyond standards, complete comfort, and refurbished aesthetics.

On top of that, each CARSOME Certified car also comes with the following promises:

  • Fixed price: The listing price you see on CARSOME is the actual full price of the car with no hidden fees, so you know exactly how much you’re paying.
  • Five-day money-back guarantee: If you buy a car from CARSOME and are not happy with it, you can return it within five days and get a full refund. No questions asked!
  • One-year warranty: All CARSOME Certified cars also have a one-year extended warranty for your peace of mind.

Head over to CARSOME.my or download our mobile app and book your dream car today!