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303-766-9227 | 16695 E Smoky Hill Rd Aurora, CO 80015

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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I traveled from Las Vegas to Aurora Colorado and coming over the Pass my ABS lights came on and I was concerned so I researched places to take my car to be checked out and would take my extended warranty. Craig was very kind when I called so i decided to go there 1. because of his kindness and 2. His reviews. While having my car at the shop they found my alternator was bad . he called the warranty company and stayed on the line until he got a live person on the line . His staff was amazing and had my car ready for me in just a couple hours . They car runs great and it is ready to head back home without any worries. I highly recommend Smoky Hill Auto Service Center. Thank you Craig and your staff for helping me and getting my car safe for the road trip home.

, 06/15/2020

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I trust Craig immensely. Service has been consistently superb and timely and pricing has been reasonable. My wife loves this place. Would highly recommend Craig and his mechanics for your auto servicing needs.

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Great staff and reasonable prices. They have taken great care of my cars for years! What more can you ask for?

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Great people great prices. I brought my car in cause my head light was out and didn't have the piece to get the bulb out and they did it for free then I went to get my brakes done and got a great price. Everything is straight forward and they will take care of you. I will continue to bring my car here. Thank you guys

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I have had the timing belt replaced, my brakes done, and a few other things fixed at Smokey Hill Auto Service and I have no complaints what-so-ever. They have always done a great job! No complaints at all.

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Brought my car in for 60K scheduled maintenance. They did a great job, communicated well and did it a very fair price without trying to sell me unnecessary services. This is a shop you can trust, and that's hard to find.

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