Flooded car

The purchase of a used car, both in the Ukrainian markets and in US auctions, is accompanied by a lot of risks. One of the most common is buying a flooded car. Among motorists, it is customary to call vehicles that have been in a pond “flooded car”. This affects the technical condition of the machine and entails expensive repairs in the future.

Flooded car: What does it mean?

Unscrupulous sellers mask the signs of flooding, and an inexperienced buyer may not recognize the problem vehicle. The vehicle is not affected only by the type of pond and the purity of the water, but also the time of stay.

Rivers and floods

Freshwater, compared to saltwater, is less aggressive on vehicle components. This explains why it is possible to recover without losing important characteristics.

Seas and oceans 

Such a pond causes serious damage to the car. Salt is quickly destroyed metal parts of the vehicle. Mechanical components provoke the formation of corrosive spots. A car that has been in saltwater always requires expensive repairs, with the replacement of important components. In most cases, it is more profitable to buy a car with other minimal damage (link to article) than to restore a flooded car. 

The purity of the pond

Particles of dirt huddled in hard-to-reach places, are almost impossible to remove. The expensive service of cleaning the flooded car in an Automobile repair shop does not guarantee complete disposal of silt and sand.

The level of wetness 

A car is considered a flooded car only after it is completely immersed in water. Professionals do not recommend purchasing such cars. Wetting due to driving through deep puddles cannot cause significant damage to the vehicle. 


A car that has been in the water for no more than 10 minutes can be easily restored. In this case, it is enough to replace filters, lubricants, and also perform a high-quality drying of the car. The longer the vehicle is in the water, the more damage is done to it.

Such cars can be found on the American trading platforms Copart, IAAI. From the photo, it is difficult to recognize a used car that has been in the water. By contacting TRT International, which has many years of experience in the field of transport logistics, you can protect yourself from buying a problematic vehicle. The manager provided by the company will perform a full check of the car of interest at various services, provide a photo and video report on the condition of the car during delivery. A thorough approach eliminates the risk of driving flooded cars.

How to recognize a flooded car 

Car service specialists recommend paying attention to certain nuances that give out a flooded car:

  1. Salon details. During the inspection of the interior of the car, pay special attention to the joints of parts and the metal parts of the body under the upholstery. Paint blisters and corrosive inclusions indicate prolonged contact with water.
  2. Presence of corrosion. The main symptom that unscrupulous sellers seeks to remove. A car put up for sale will be covered with new rust spots in a couple of weeks.
  3. Availability of new parts and consumables. Aluminum elements of the body and interior, in contact with salt water, are covered with whitish spots. Such parts are replaced to mask drowning. New filters, oils, and lubricants are a sure sign of a flooded car
  4. Traces of water in the headlights. Reflectors covered by salt watermarks cannot be cleaned. In this case, replace the entire headlight.

When asked whether it is profitable to buy a flooded car, the definite answer is - no. In the future, serious damage will occur that may not be repairable. Only an appeal to the professionals of TRT International will avoid such a purchase. Employees not only know how to recognize a flooded car from a photo from an auction, but also check a car through various services and databases.

TRT International has been transporting cargo worldwide from the USA for 28 years. Six own warehouses in the United States of America.

More details on our website: www.usatrt.com

Sales Department: [email protected] l +1 (973) 344-7100

Feb 4th 2022

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