Check a vehicle’s title history.
Examine the interior and the engine compartment for evidence of water and grit from suspected submersion.
Check for recently shampooed carpeting.
Look under the carpeting for water residue or stain marks from evaporated water not related to air-conditioning pan leaks.
Inspect for interior rust and under the carpeting, and inspect upholstery and door panels for evidence of fading.
Check under the dash for dried mud and residue, and note any mold or a musty odor in the upholstery, carpet or trunk.
Check for rust on screws in the console and in other areas water would normally not reach unless the vehicle was submerged.
Look for mud or grit in alternator crevices, behind wiring harnesses and around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays.
Inspect electrical wiring for rusted components, water residue or suspicious corrosion.
Inspect other components for rust or flaking metal not normally found in late model vehicles.