How to avoid buying flood cars on the market

How to spot storm-damaged cars

SAN ANTONIO -- Hurricane Matthew may not have hit Texas but its impact is being felt in the Lone Star State, especially when it comes to the many flooded cars the storm left behind.

Many of those cars make it to Texas in drivable condition, but not for long.

When shopping for a car it may not be easy to spot flood damage, making it easy for you to become a victim. But the experts told KENS 5 specifically what we should look for, especially in Texas.

"Shockingly, Texas leads the nation with the mostflood-damagedd vehicles that are back on the market," said Chris Basso of Carfax.

How many are rolling down the highway right now?

"Our data suggests there are more than 43,000 cars that are on Texas roadways and could be up for sale right now," Basso said.

In 2016 Carfax says that over 271,000 flood cars ended up on the road with the largest number here in Texas. Houston has the most with over 19,000 flooded cars. Dallas has close to 10,000. Here, in San Antonio, 2,300 flood cars are on the street.

Ancira Chrysler says that they have a good track record when it comes to junked up jeeps.

"Very rarely does a car slip through the cracks and we get a vehicle that is flooded that we've missed, basically," sales manager Sam Solano said.

What do they look for?

"First thing is going to be a water line," Solano said. "A lot of times when the water goes higher than usual, it will actually come through the bottom through the air flow, which will actually get into the engine and at that time, we would check the fluids to see if there is any moisture or anything not looking normal."

Concours Auto Salon says inspect the trunk.

"If it's really bad, you will start to see the black mold growing back behind [the trunk] panels," said Ron Harris, co-owner of Concours Auto Salon.

You can even use your nose to sniff out trouble.

"If you open up the doors it is going to hit you," said Anthony Orosco, co-owner of Concours Auto Salon. "It smells like a bad gym or something."

USAA also recommends to check out the Carfax report, take the car for a test drive, and get a second opinion by asking a reputable mechanic to thoroughly inspect the car. If the seller is unwilling to let you do so, just walk away so you don't get sunk.

(© 2016 KENS)


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