ATLANTA - Water from Louisiana's summer flooding has receded, but be careful because coming to the surface are salvaged cars.
Under all that water were not only homes but so many cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, all of it. Carfax, which tracks vehicle history information, says about 100,000 vehicles were submerged. And historically half of those will re-emerge on the market.
A State Farm spokesman tells the FOX 5 I-Team they alone processed 20,800 auto claims. Now that's OK for them to be re-sold, as long as you are aware of it. But too often they are sold without the buyer knowing the whole story.
So, you have to do a little homework here. Here is a eight-point checklist for catching a used car that's been under water by looking for rust, moisture and mud.
- Vehicle Title: Check dates and transfer dates to see if it came from a flood zone.
- Sniff Test: Smell for mildew
- Lift and Look: Check under floor mats, in glove compartment for moisture and stains.
- Check Gauges: Look for signs of condensation.
- Open the Trunk: See if cardboard carpet board is warped.
- Latch the Seatbelt: Listen to see if it sounds gritty.
- Straight-Line Stains: Walk around the car checking for a water line.
- Slide the Seat: Move the set up and back looking for rust on the rails.
Even if the car passes this test, then take it to a trusted mechanic you can take a deeper look.
It's important to be vigilant as Carfax tells the FOX 5 I-Team that more than 4,000 flooded cars are already in Georgia, about 3,000 of them in metro Atlanta.