In the US drivers may be behind the wheel of more than 325,000 previously flooded vehicles.
List of US States with the most flooded vehicles still on the roads.
Five ways to spot a food-damaged vehicle:
1. Be alert to unusual odors. Musty or moldy odors inside the car are a sign of mildew buildup
from prolonged exposure to water. It might be coming from an area the seller is unable to
completely clean. Beware of a strong air freshener or cleaning solution scent since it may indicate
the seller is trying to cover up something. Run the air-conditioner to see if a moldy smell comes
from the vents.
2. Look for discolored carpeting. Large stains or differences
in color between lower and upper upholstery sections may indicate that standing water was in the vehicle.
A used car with brand new upholstery is also a warning sign since a seller may have tried to remove the food-damaged
3. Examine the exterior for water buildup. Signs may include fogging inside headlamps or taillights
and damp or muddy areas where water naturally pools, such as overhangs inside the wheel well.
A water line might be noticeable in the engine compartment or the trunk, indicating that the car
sat in standing water.
4. Inspect the undercarriage. Look for evidence of rust and flaking
metal that would not normally be associated with late-model vehicles.
5. Be suspicious of dirt buildup in unusual areas. These include areas such as around the seat
tracks or the upper carpeting under the glove compartment. Have an independent mechanic look
for caked mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small
recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.