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10 ways to spot a flood damaged car in a used car lot

November 14, 2017

Buyers may not know that they are laying out cash for vehicles that could have electrical, mechanical and even safety issues that can put their life on the line.

flood-carPETALING JAYA: Flood waters in Penang and Kedah are expected to have damaged as many as 5,000 cars and counting. Majority of these cars will not be going to the scrap yard and many others will be cleaned up and resold in use car lots in other states. Buyers may not know that they are laying out cash for vehicles that could have electrical, mechanical and even safety issues that can put their life on the line. Yes, a flood damaged car could be dangerous in the near future.

Flooded cars are often transported to different states where consumers may be less aware and this is an easy way to sell these cars. We are quite sure most of the Penang and Kedah flood damaged cars will end up in Pengerang Johor or in Kuantan where there is huge development and plenty of unsuspecting foreign workers who need cheap cars to get to and fro their work site.


Here we offer 10 ways to spot a car that has been flooded:

  1. Look for stains, mildew, sand or silt under the carpet and dashboard, and in the rear boot spare wheel area and where the tool kit is stored.
  2. Look for fogging and water residue inside the headlights and taillights.
  3. Get inside the cabin and do a smell test by taking a deep breath. If there is a heavy aroma of cleaners and disinfectants it is a sign that the dealer/seller is trying to mask the mold and/wet odor smells.
  4. Check the front seat-mounting screws to see if there is any evidence that they have been removed. This is done to dry the carpets effectively, the seats must be removed and possibly even replaced.
  5. Look for exposed screws under the dashboard. Unpainted metal in flood cars will show signs of rust.
  6. Premium, imported cars have rubber drain plugs under the car and on the bottom of doors. Look if they have been removed recently. That may have been done to drain floodwater.
  7. Look for signs of mismatched NEW carpeting or NEW seat covers.
  8. Look for rust on door hinges or screws or even the door locks on the side of the doors as these would only rust if the vehicle was submerged in water.
  9. Examine the underside of the vehicle for rust around the exhaust areas.
  10. Pull the seat belt completely to its end and check for water and mud stains.

Of course the best method of all is to pay a trusted mechanic to check the car for you, but many Malaysians will try and save the RM50 to RM150.00 a mechanic charges to check the car and then regret later. You are buying a car worth thousands…..spend a little to get peace of mind in the long run.





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