Warning about flooded cars: don't be a victim - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Warning about flooded cars: don't be a victim

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

In the market for a used a car? Better do your homework first or you could wind up with a car that has serious flood damage.

Tom Bartholomy with Better Business Bureau said awareness is key.

"They're looking to turn these as quickly as they possible can," he said. 

Bartholomy says we could start seeing flood damaged vehicles in the wake of superstorm Sandy in as soon as 60 days from now.

"Very few of these are going to be sold in New York area because they're going to be on the lookout for them," he said. "So they're going to take them to areas where, oh well we haven't had any flooding here in awhile so why would I even think to look for something like that."

Emerson Miles, a car experts, says he's seen it all.

"Look into places you wouldn't think to look," he cautioned. "Under the spare tire. If I suspect water damage...pull the carpet up and look up underneath it.

Miles also said dead sensors are a red flag as well.

"Freshwater does one thing," he pointed out. "Brackish water does another thing. Saltwater does something else. I mean, they can be devastating on an electrical system and the body of a car."

Bottom line, says Bartholomy, don't take any chances.

"Take it to a mechanic," he advised. "Might cost you 80 to 100 dollars but believe me, if there's some damage to that car, not just flood damage but any kind, they're going to be able to find it and it could save you thousands."

If you think someone is trying to sell you a flood damaged car, contact the BBB and file a formal complaint.  

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