How to make sure your next used car is not flood damaged

The videos and pictures keep pouring in from Texas, showing incredibly high waters and massive devastation.

The floodwaters from Harvey are finally receding. But what's left is hundreds of thousands of cars completely flooded out, from top to bottom and Carfax says about half of those cars could soon be up for sale nationwide.

“In the coming weeks, and certainly the months and years to follow, these flooded cars from Hurricane Harvey and going to make their way back onto the market,” said Chris Basso of Carfax.

Basso says there are steps you should take to avoid getting ripped off - if you're on the market for a used car.

“You want to consult the experts when you're talking about avoiding flood-damaged cars,” Basso said.

Experts like Eliot Silverman - who FOX 32 found as a top-rated mechanic on consumers' checkbook. He opened this shop in Lakeview more than 30 years ago.

Silverman says flood damage can cause serious issues for any car.

“Electrical problems - the water, the mud gets into the connectors,” Silverman said.

But he says you can't really know if there's a problem unless you go underneath. Silverman says he looks for mud in hidden nooks - ones that can't easily be washed out or cleaned.

“When you see the mud you realize, that car has been in a flood,” he said.

He also says rust can show up in unexpected spots.

Silverman stressed to FOX 32 that just because a car looks great doesn't mean it's safe.
           
So get a reputable mechanic to check out any used car before you buy to avoid getting hosed.
           
You can find more telltale signs of flood damage at carfax.com/flood.

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