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Storm Damaged Cars Flooding Used Car Lots

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

If you're in the market for a used car, be on the lookout for vehicles damaged in last year's hurricanes. Cars and trucks with hidden flood damage are showing up on car lots across the state.

"The car runs fine when you're test driving it just later on down the road you'll encounter some problems, i.e. electrical problems," said Josh Watson, Watson Motors.

After Katrina about a half million cars and trucks were underwater for weeks. All of the vehicles were supposed to red tagged and destroyed, but some of them have made there way to used car lots.

Watson says customers looking at used cars should ask lots of questions.

"Don't be afraid to ask if you can take it to your personal mechanic or someone you trust," said Watson.

Watson says there are some indicators that a car has flood damage, the first place to check is under the hood.

"Your hoses, which are all rubber and your plastic areas, they do not withstand water being over them so you'll notice a drying out or a white residue," said Watson.

The next place to check is inside the vehicle.

"If it's a flood damaged vehicle that's been under water to a high level you can look inside that glove box and you'll see a water line," said Watson.

Finally, Watson says check the trunk, specifically the spare tire compartment.

"Nobody really thinks to check this area or clean it out. But even if it has been cleaned, you'll see areas where water has been and it's messed up this foam," said Watson.

Watson says it is also important to take note of the carpet in the car. If it's an older model car with brand new carpet, don't be shy about asking why the carpet was replaced.

Watson says buyers can always ask to see the vehicle title, it will let you know where the car came from and when.


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