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937-848-3834 | 4370 W Franklin St Bellbrook, OH 45305

How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

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 Our Customers Are Saying

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We have taken our vehicles to Muffler Brothers in Bellbrook, and in Franklin, and have always been taken care of well. Prices are very reasonable, and they don't try to add extra things they think should be done. I was particularly impressed on our most recent experience where we took our minivan in because the sliding door had come off the track, leaving the door slightly open. Friday afternoon they called us to let us know that they couldn't perform the repair. They had also seen that a thunderstorm was coming, and they have moved it inside so it wouldn't get wet. We were not able to pick it up until the next morning, and when we arrived they had it running to charge the battery since the light had run it down. They charged us nothing for this. My overall experience is that they really take good care of their customers.

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Best shop in the area! Quality work with quality technicians! Doug always gives the Best Prices in town!

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Best garage I've ever used. They always find the simplest, least costly fix. A dealer spent all day troubleshooting an electrical issue, didn't find the problem, and told me not only that is have to bring my truck back, but that they would likely need multiple days to find the problem. Muffler Bros troubleshoot it and fixed in one day for less than the dealer charged for not even fixing it.

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Great service, worked up an estimate for insurance work, made sure everything was covered, and made the repairs in a timely fashion.

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Fast great service great sounding flowmaster put on.

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This is the only car repair shop that you can trust, plain and simple. They treat everyone with respect and do not try to up-sell anything. I can also attest (on my wife's behalf) that they don't take advantage of female customers.

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