Although most used car dealers are operated in a reputable fashion, you still need to be smart when searching for a car. Part of that is being able to spot a car that has been flood-damaged. Even though a car has been inspected by the dealer, you need to conduct your own inspection. To help you determine if a car was potentially in flood waters, here are some tips for your inspection.

Look for Signs

Ideally, you should inspect a used car you are considering from front to back anyway. However, when you are looking for signs of flood damage, there are certain signs you should look for. For instance, look inside and outside of it for sand, dirt, and mud. Your inspection needs to include compartments, the trunk, and the seats.

In addition to that, you need to raise the hood of the car and check out the electrical components. Pay attention to parts that are not working. Look for rust or flaking. While under the hood, take a whiff. If you smell musty odors, it could be a sign that the car was not only exposed to flood water, but that there might be some mildew or must somewhere.

Obtain the Vehicle's History

A vehicle history report will contain invaluable information about a car, including whether it has been in an accident. You can also find out if the car was ever registered at some point as having been in a flood. If the previous owner of the car has made any type of insurance claim for the car related to the flood, it will be in a database.

You can choose to use a paid service or visit the federal government's crime bureau website for a free assessment of the vehicle. Even if the car was moved from one state to another, you will still have the information needed to determine if it was in flood waters before.

Get a Professional Inspection

If the car looks clean up to this point, you can take one more step to make sure it is not flood damaged. A professional inspection by a mechanic you trust not only helps to eliminate the possibility the car was flooded, but that there are other issues.

You can also talk to the dealer about your concerns. Many used car dealers offer limited warranties. It will offer you the confidence you need to move forward with the purchase of a car.