Local expert warns against buying used cars that have been flooded

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- Bob Williams, general sales manager, Anderson Dodge Chrysler Jeep and Ram, says as low priced, used cars make their way here from the areas flooded by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, we need to be wary of what we purchase.

"With all the electronics on cars today and all the electrical systems in a car, if that's been under water you're asking for trouble," explained Williams.

Electronics aren't the only concern.

"If the vehicle was running when it went into the water and that kind of thing it can also draw water into the engine,” said Williams. “So ultimately you can end up with engine issues."

Used cars come in from all across the country, there's a few things we can do to protect ourselves... Check under the hood, in the trunk, and under the carpets looking for mud, sand, or silt...

"Another place you should look is on the fasteners that hold the seats down to the floor,” explained Williams. “Sometimes those get rusted if it's been under water. They wouldn't be rusted in a car typically."

Williams says we can also give the car a sniff test, smelling for mildew.

"Before you sign on the dotted line and commit yourself to it and write a check, take it to a reputable dealer and have it checked out," said Williams.

Williams claims a vehicle that has been under water will have issues that will cost us...

"In 99 out of 100 cases if the manufacturer finds out that it was flood damaged, if there was any warranty left on it, they won't cover it anymore," explained Williams.

Williams says another way to double check the car before purchasing is take the VIN number and get a car fax. This will tell you the history of the vehicle including if it came from one of the areas affected by flooding or had flood damage.

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