Car experts warn buyers of 'flood cars'
FARGO—It's expected that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have flooded up to a million cars in Texas and Florida.
Those cars may soon end up appearing in the Midwest used car market.
The vehicle history company, CarFax says about half of flood-damaged cars are resold.
It's not illegal to sell or buy one of these cars.
There are some key visual things you should check before buying a used vehicle.
Buyers beware, car experts are issuing a warning across the country to watch out for "flood cars."
"They'll get it up and running enough to sell it and it may be too late," said Vern Newman, service manager.
After floods, people fix up the cars and try to sell the cars at extremely low costs.
"What happens with these vehicles that will displace them self all over the country. They'll sit for long periods of times after being sent somewhere else and you won't know it until you run into a major concern," said Newman.
While we may not see many up here in our metro, it does happen.
"Every once in awhile. Not as common up here, said Newman.
The possibility is there and you should know what to look for if you plan on getting a car soon.
"There's stuff you can check on your own before you bring it in somewhere," said Newman.
Rust often gives away signs of water damage.
"Water is never really fun or takes care of vehicle like oil or lubricants would. It'll evaporate and break down things that are meant to protect," said Newman.
One of the indicators on the inside of your car is water stains.
"Check the electrical components, radio, windows, anything that runs on power."
Mechanics say while most of these concerns are fixable, the repair costs often reach into the thousands of dollars.
"Probably not worth the headache to go through and repair them. There are plenty of used vehicles that you can find that don't have water damage," said Newman.
It's best to do some research before you hand over the money.
Carfax is temporarily offering its flood-damage database services for free.
We have a link to that below: