You can shop for a car on foot, by looking in the newspaper or over the Internet. However you choose to shop for a used car, it’s important to get a vehicle inspection done on anything you are serious about purchasing by a mechanic of your choice. A mechanic will look for problems with the brakes, wiring, transmission and tires. Remember that finding specific things wrong with the car, such as flood damage, might take a trained eye.

Make sure your mechanic knows what to look for when checking for flood damage. With all the recent hurricanes and flooding in the United States, there are a lot of cars out there that might have damage. When a vehicle is underwater, serious problems occur with the electrical and safety systems. You can also see a lot of corrosion, rust and rotting.

If a car is for sale in your area, it might not mean it came from there. It may have come from a place that has had a lot of recent flooding. As previously mentioned, it’s always a good idea to get a trained mechanic to look it over. There are some problems you might be able to identify yourself though. The following list contains such items:

  • Water inside the lamps or headlights
  • A visible water line anywhere on the car
  • Rust or mud in the wheel wells
  • A musty smell
  • Water anywhere inside the car

Make sure to walk away from any seller who will not allow you to look under the hood or in the trunk. It shouldn’t matter how interested you are in the car. This is a major warning sign that something is wrong with it.