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    Roswell, GA 30075

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How to Identify a Flood Damaged Vehicle

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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

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    My family has been using Meco Automotive for 10+ years. Mark is very honest and reasonable. Thanks for making car maintenance easy.

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    I trust Mark. That's the most important thing. Yes, he's efficient and great at his job but, most importantly, he has earned my trust. I know he's going to take great care of my car, my time, and my wallet. One of my favorite moments in the time I've been going to him is when he would not repair my car anymore, he would not let me waste any more money on it. He could've made a buck - quite a few actually - but that's not in his character. He then helped advise me on my next car. Highly recommend.

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    Mark and his team are professional, knowledgeable, friendly, and reasonable. They always take good care of us and get our cars in and looked at in a timely fashion. Highly recommend them!

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    They are always so nice and accommodating. I never feel like they are trying to pull one over on me... I trust these guys, and their work is great!

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    I will NEVER go anywhere else for service! Mark has helped to keep my Toyota Sienna Minivan running for over 200,000 miles....and it is still going strong! He will now be servicing our recently purchased previously owned Highlander. During a pre-purchase inspection, he found some issues that the dealership didn't disclose (such as a previous accident and bad shocks). I was able to use his findings to go back to the dealership and have them fix the problems! He is so honest.....I will never get go anywhere else.

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    Excellent work (and fast too!), good price, best service I have had in quite awhile! I will definitely use them again.

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