ADOT officials warn potential used car buyers about flooding, water damage

ADOT officials are warning potential buyers about flood and water damage warning signs to look...
ADOT officials are warning potential buyers about flood and water damage warning signs to look out for in vehicles.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 1:16 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona Department of Transportation officials are warning those looking to buy a used car to be wary of flood and water damage. Due to recent storms, it’s very likely that more cars on the used vehicle market will have sustained some kind of damage.

You can tell if a vehicle has flood damage if there is dirt, silt and mold spotted along the floorboards, in the seats and headrests or other carpeted areas. ADOT recommends checking under the dashboard and other hard-to-reach spots as well, just in case. Also, smell the vehicle and seats. You’ll be able to smell some water damage and/or mold damage in the vehicle.

Always check the electrical and mechanical components, which are the first parts of the vehicle to stop functioning if exposed to flooding. Also, if you spot rust on both older and new parts of the vehicle, it may be worth your time to reach out to an auto mechanic to check the suspension for damage as well. When in doubt, walk away.

Potential buyers can also purchase title information packets through online services by checking the vehicle’s VIN. A list of all maintenance, damages, accident reports, and more will be found on the reports. Remember, if the vehicle has flood damage, the title should always declare it. For more ADOT suggestions about purchasing a new or used vehicle, click here.