How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car - KCTV5

How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car

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A car doesn’t have to be underwater to be damaged and totaled by flood water. Even water covering just about half of the tires is enough to ruin it. (KCTV5) A car doesn’t have to be underwater to be damaged and totaled by flood water. Even water covering just about half of the tires is enough to ruin it. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A car doesn’t have to be underwater to be damaged and totaled by flood water. Even water covering just about half of the tires is enough to ruin it. 

On Thursday, some parts of the Kansas City area saw more than four feet of water in some cases.

If a car has had a flooded engine and the owner wants to sell it, they are supposed to report that damage as part of the vehicles history report.

However, that doesn’t always happen. It’s something called "title washing," so you need to do your homework when buying.

First, check out that VIN number. It is a unique 17 digit number for every car. You can find it on the lower corner of the driver's side windshield. Then, run a car history report to see if there is any flood damage the seller hadn’t told you about.

Also, you might want to check for a few red flags. Does it have a funky, mildew smell? Look for discolored carpeting or large stains or differences in color between lower and upper upholstery sections. This may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle.

A used car with brand new upholstery is also a warning sign.

You will want to check under the rugs, seats and spare tire in the trunk for any pooling water or muddy residue.

And inspect the undercarriage by looking for evidence of rust and flaking metal. Check out the headlights which trap moisture and could look foggy.

It’s also always a good idea to pay a trusted mechanic to check it out for you.

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