PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you are looking to buy a used car, you should do some investigating before you get stuck with a junker.
It’s more than just kicking the tires and taking a test drive.
Expert say thanks to Hurricane Sandy, thousands of flooded cars will be flooding the used car market.
According to Carfax, a provider of vehicle history information, more than 230,000 cars were damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Preliminary research by the company shows one in five are already back on the road.
“These cars will end up everywhere. Not just the Northeast, but in Pennsylvania and all the states in between out to California,” says Carfax spokesperson Chris Basso.
Basso says consumers in the market for a used car should “absolutely be on the lookout for a flood damaged car.”
So before you buy — be sure to investigate every inch of that used car.
Mike Collura, a technician from Tom Clark Chevrolet, says the first place to look for signs of a flood is the trunk.
“It’s the easiest part to get to,” says Collura. He recommends you check underneath the spare tire and pull back the panels in the trunk.
“You are looking for mud, leaves, dirt, mold or any kind of debris you would get from a flood,” he said.
And, use your nose. If there is an odor of mildew, it’s a good sign that the car has water damage.
“Water gets into places that you don’t really think it gets into,” says Collura.
According to car experts, you should also look underneath car seats for signs of water damage, check the panels under the dashboard, and look in all the nooks and crannies of the engine.
And when in doubt ask a professional to take a look.
Buying a flooded car isn’t just a bad investment it could be dangerous, according to Basso.
“The mechanical, the electrical, and the safety systems could all be affected in the vehicle and that’s not something you want to be caught in especially when you are driving,” he said.