How to spot a flood damaged vehicle

They say that even though it’s unfortunate, Melburnians are somehow used to experiencing ‘crazy weather’. At times there are heatwaves, sometimes there are heavy rains and thunderstorms, and then high temperatures again. According to, there are some suburbs in Melbourne that are at risk of flooding. Among these are Southbank, Port Melbourne, Lang Lang, Flemington, Koo Wee Rup, and others. Apart from Melbourne, there are also other places in the country that are prone to flooding.

Knowing all these makes it harder to find and buy used cars, especially if you know that the seller is from an area that always gets flooded. So how many of you have experienced this or know someone who told you this line: “I am planning to sell my car because someone is selling me his used car. But I’m kinda having second thoughts as the deal is too good to be true.” And then your mind is bombarded with different thoughts on why that car is such a good buy. Aside from dealing with scam artists, lemon cars, rebuilt wrecks, and more, there are also vehicles that have been at the mercy of environmental disasters; let alone, FLOODS. Well, as someone who is willing to let go of his old ride just to get that so-called good deal, it is your utmost right to know whether or not the vehicle is free from any kind of damage.

Because Rapid Car Removal has been in the car recycling and cash for cars Melbourne industry for more than two decades, we are here to help you determine whether or not that used car has experienced severe flooding at least once in its life. Just a quick expert reminder, some owners sell their used cars intentionally because they are flooded. So will they do everything in their power to conceal signs of damage.

Here are some tips on how you can spot a flooded vehicle:

Do a quick visual check

There could be times when the owner has missed some spots or traces of flood so be sure to be wary of those. Search for fabric stains, unusual watermarks, grass and other debris hanging from the radiator or undercarriage, discoloration in the trims, and the like.

Look for dried mud and damp areas

Even if the owner most probably had the car cleaned and detailed, there are still some areas of the car that are hard to reach and somewhat inaccessible. So see if there are dried mud at edge of the dashboard, under the windshield, under the seats, and so on. There are also parts of the car that are difficult to dry completely like under the matting and even the carpet and spare tire area inside the trunk. Make sure to run your hands against the surfaces and gently tap to feel if there could be water or mud.

Inspect for rust

It is quite normal for used and old cars to have rust spots here and there. So make sure to find those areas wherein there’s really deep-seated excessive rust and corrosion under the bonnet, in the fuse box, in the wires under the dash, and even in the lighter socket.

Spot for “misty eyes”

If you see all the exterior lights of the car not moist, but with water inside, then that definitely isn’t normal. All these exterior lights should also be free from traces of any discoloration and watermarks.

Get a good smell of the whole car

Sniff all the areas of the car, like a really good sniffing around. The unpleasant smell from anything that is flooded is very hard to remove; especially within the interior of vehicles. Even if there’s an air freshener, the pungent and musty smell of mold and mildew is hard to put off.

Turn on the heating and A/C system

If there is trapped water in the heating and air conditioning system of the car, it could lead to uncontrolled condensation. So once you ride in the car and turn it on, check if the windows will quickly steam and moisten up.

Check all the electrics

Water is the worst enemy of any kind of electrical system. So if the car is really flooded, most likely, the electric parts of the car are those that have suffered much. Check the power windows, the exterior and interior lights, the lighter, and all of those.

Please be knowledgeable enough to understand that even if all these are present, it doesn’t automatically mean that the car was damaged by flood. These are reminders and tips that could lead you to the most important thing you shouldn’t forget: ASK THE OWNER STRAIGHT UP. Remember that those who are hiding something, are those who are really defensive. Our tips as experts in the cash for cars and car wreckers Melbourne industry? Well, be vigilant and intuitive. If your guts tell you not to go on with that purchase because it’s too good to be true, then maybe it really is.