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How to identify a car or other vehicle that has been flooded by storm waters, hurricanes, area flooding, or severe leaks. This article warns about the problems likely to ensue if you purchase and intend to drive a vehicle that has been inundated by flood waters. We list key inspection points that can help detect a previously-flooded car.
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Flooded Car Detection Tips for Used Car Buyers
In the moldy car case used as an example in this article, a water leak at the front passenger side windshield pillar was sending water down inside the pillar into the area behind and under the dash board on the passenger side, ultimately onto the passenger side floor.
The car's owners first noticed the leak problem as a wet floor mat. On exploring they found that carpeting below the floor mat was still more wet. This meant trouble.
In our photo (left) the author points to the very origin of the roof and windshield pillar leak on the car's passenger side.The dealer was able to trace the leak to its source, and the leak was repaired. But the moldy smell remained.
Carpeting, seats, sound insulation, head liners, door liners, or other vehicle materials that have actually been soaked and that smell moldy need to be removed and disposed-of, and the exposed surfaces of the vehicle cleaned using conventional cleaners (soap and water would be fine).
Our photo (left) shows the primary smell reservoir in this mold-stinky car: the carpet padding and sound insulation material. A topic of considerable discussion was just how much of this padding to remove.
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