How to Tell if Your Vehicle Has Flood Damage

Each year, the Panama City, Callaway, and Springfield regions experience some degree of flooding as coastal storms and hurricanes cause rivers and streams to overflow, engulfing roadways and neighborhoods. Once the water recedes, thousands of vehicles are often left with serious flood damage that can significantly decrease resell value and cause major issues down the road.

At Honda of Bay County Service Center, our team of friendly service professionals is committed to providing honest care and advice to keep you safe on the road. To assist our neighbors, we created this helpful guide to help you identify some common and not-so-common signs of vehicle flood damage.

5 Signs Your Vehicle Has Flood Damage

In some cases, flood damage in your own car might not be noticeable right away. If you’re considering buying a used car, flood damage may not be reported and won’t show on any official reports. If you have any suspicion that the vehicle you’re considering to buy was involved in a flood event, or if you think your own car may have incurred some flood damage, some key signs to look out for include:

foggy headlight

  • Rust or Flaking: Check the undercarriage and wheel wells for any significant signs of rust or premature wear. Newer models should still have their original paint job.
  • Faded or Mismatched Upholstery: If the vehicle’s carpets are discolored or doesn’t match the rest of the cabin’s upholstery, that’s a sign that water once stood in the vehicle. Also, take caution if you notice any used vehicle has brand-new upholstery or doesn’t match the manufacturer’s materials.
  • Electrical Issues: If one or more electrical components, such as the windows, power seat adjustments, speakers, or door locks, are broken or buggy, it’s usually a dead giveaway.
  • Musty Odor Inside the Cabin: Mildew buildup can still occur long after a vehicle is cleaned and the upholstery is refurbished. You should also run the air conditioner to check for any strong smells coming through the vents.
  • Foggy Headlights and Windows: Moisture buildup inside the vehicle’s exterior lights or in between the door and window show that the vehicle sat in water for a long period of time.

Buying Used? Check The Vehicle History Report

Vehicle History Report

A good rule to follow when considering a used vehicle is to ask the dealership for a full history report on any vehicle you’re interested in buying. This report will detail the vehicle’s full ownership history, including the states it has been registered in and any accidents, including flood damage.

A reputable dealer will have this information readily available and will be clear up front, whether or not the vehicle has gone through any major repairs or refurbishments. If you’re purchasing from a private seller, a vehicle history report can usually be obtained through a certified third-party organization, such as CARFAX®. You can also request to have a licensed technician inspect the vehicle before making an offer.

Schedule a Service Appointment at Honda of Bay County Today!

If you live in the Panama City, Callaway, or Springfield areas and have any additional questions or you’re looking to get your own flood-damaged vehicle back into working condition, our service pros are ready and willing to help.

Simply stop by our convenient location during service hours or you can go online to schedule a service appointment today!