Flood Damaged Cars

Flood damaged cars are required to be reported, and should show up when you order a vehicle history report or VIN check. However, a wise shopper will have their mechanic check out any used car they are interested in, and request the vehicle to be inspected, including for evidence of flooding. A Fifth Gear Automotive mechanic at our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX will be glad to inspect the used vehicle of your choice for you.

Signs to Look For

Warnings against purchasing a flood damaged vehicle would appear to be straight forward. Unfortunately, unscrupulous dealers and some individuals sell vehicles that have been flooded every year, without disclosing their history.

The signs of a flood-damaged vehicle aren’t difficult to identify, if you know what to look for. Remember, flood damage means dirty water and extended exposure to moisture. So dirt and rust in unusual places will be one key factor to watch for. The following tips provide you with direct guidance on where and what to look for:


  • New upholstery and carpeting in a used automobile, especially if the upholstery, carpeting and vinyl colors don’t appear to match. If you are uncertain, A Fifth Gear professional can compare the interior and exterior paint colors to those identified on the vehicles manufacturing sticker, just bring the car into our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX.
  • Rust in places like door hinges and trunk latches.
  • Rust and mud under the gas and brake pedals.
  • Silt or mud under the seats, in seat tracks or in the glove compartment or the trunk. Look inside the trunks tire well for mud and/or rust. In addition, look inside the seatbelt mechanism for silt.
  • Moisture in the dome light or other interior lighting.
  • Turning on the ignition and making sure all dashboard warning and accessory lights properly illuminate. Look for moisture buildup in the instrument panel.
  • Testing the air conditioning, heater, windshield wipers, radio, and turn signal several times. Electronic components are especially vulnerable to water.
  • Ensure the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the dashboard matches the VIN on the door jamb.
  • Check the visible wires under the dash and under the hood for rust. Where you will need to look is any exposed wire and the terminals used to fasten them. You may be more comfortable having the engine compartment thoroughly inspected by a certified mechanic in our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX
  • Look for signs of a new paint job. Telling signs are paint that doesn’t match, and the presence of overspray on door jambs, rubber or plastic trim, bumpers, lights, grill and other areas. If a relatively new car has been painted it has likely either been involved in an accident, or due to damage during another event, such as flooding. If the vehicle history report doesn’t show any incidents to explain new paint, it’s possible something has been covered up. A Fifth Gear professional in our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX can identify a vehicle that has been repainted.


  • A musty or moldy odor inside the vehicle and/or trunk indicates potential flooding. Get close enough to smell the carpet, and if the seats look original smell for mold or mildew there as well.


Today’s automobile is manufactured with a large amount of electronic components. These, as well as the engine are vulnerable to damage from flooding. Fifth Gear’s experienced ASE certified mechanics in our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX can provide an inspection for the evidence of flooding.

Car’s that have been in a flood are typically priced well below normal. Even when the damage was properly reported, and the car has a salvage title, you should be aware that purchasing the automobile poses the potential for requiring costly repair. It may appear to run well now, but as the effects of the flooding continue to erode components, trouble is likely to be forthcoming. Furthermore, a number of insurers will provide liability only, for automobiles with a salvage title. Check with your insurer prior to purchasing any vehicle with a salvage title.

Have your certified mechanic inspect the vehicle. If the seller is resistant to this leave the vehicle with them, and shop elsewhere.

Fifth Gear Automotive certified ASE technicians will be glad to inspect the car you are considering purchasing. Contact us to schedule this service in our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX. We care about your safety, and want to ensure your vehicle – or one you are considering purchasing – is well maintained and safe for you and your family, as well as other drivers upon the road. For a pre-purchase inspection, flood damaged cars inspection, routine auto service or other maintenance, repair, or other professional automotive service for your car, contact us today, or drop by our auto repair shops in Lewisville, TX.