Fact or Fiction: Car Flood Damage

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
The odor from mold and mildew eventually fades.
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fiction
Unfortunately, no amount of shampooing will get rid of that musty, flooded-car smell.

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Opening the glove compartment may tell you whether or not a car has been in a flood.
fact
Mud and other debris from floods can make its way below and into the glove compartment and console.
fiction

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The worst that can happen when inadvertently buying a flood-damaged car is that it will cost more money than anticipated.
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fiction
The worst that can happen is a fatal accident, as flood waters can damage important safety and operational systems in a car.

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It's never a good idea to buy a flood-damaged car.
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fiction
A car may be OK after a flood, if it was flooded by fresh water rather than salt water and if the water wasn't too high or long-lasting.

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It's a safe bet to buy a flood-damaged car as a temporary solution since you can always turn around and resell it.
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fiction
Reselling a flood-damaged car is nearly impossible, as most people don't want to take on the financial and safety risks.

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A new stereo system is always a big plus in a used car.
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fiction
Unless a dealer had a good reason to update the sound system, a new stereo could mean the old one was damaged from flood water.

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As long as you buy a car in a state that has been spared from flooding, the used car is not likely to be flood damaged.
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fiction
Flood-damaged cars make their way around the country, changing titles along the path, so no region is immune from unscrupulous offerings.

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You can test for water damage by bending wires under the dashboard.
fact
If the wires under the dashboard are brittle, they've been submerged in and damaged by water.
fiction

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You might not be told if a car is flood-damaged since not all states require dealers to disclose such history.
fact
Quite a few states don't require a car to be labeled "Flood" or "Salvage," so beware that you may not be dealing with full disclosure.
fiction

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A sweet-smelling car is always a good sign that it was well taken care of.
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fiction
A car that smells too strongly of air freshener may be hiding something a little less sweet: a moldy aroma.

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