This year, thousands of cars that were flooded by the recent hurricanes may find themselves in the garages of unknowing car buyers. This can happen when unscrupulous people fraudulently "retitle" a car so it hides the fact that it's been flooded. So how can you avoid falling for an elaborate fraud?
Experts say always have a trusted mechanic examine the car.
Look underneath the dashboard of the vehicle and check the wiring. Feel if it's wet and look for signs of rotting around the wiring. Also, look along the carpeting of the vehicle for discoloration. A single line or flat line could be an indication of a watermark in the vehicle.
Be sure to check the trunk for water damage and shoddy repairs. Turn the lights on to make sure that they work. One of the biggest indicators can also be the smell of the car. If the interior smells musty or too much like a strong deodorizer you should be suspicious that car has been wet or damaged.
Take advantage of services such as carfax.com which can trace the car's history and can alert you of any problems with its past.