Damaged vehicles may be hitting car lots

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OKLAHOMA CITY–  If you are in the market for a new car, officials with AAA say there are a few things you should know before purchasing that perfect ride.

Since flooding has been occurring in nearby states, AAA says many flood-damaged vehicles may be headed to the state.

Insurance companies “total” flood-damaged vehicles, which are then sold to salvage companies.

Rather than being disassembled, some of the cars end up being purchased by people who restore them.

After being repaired, these vehicles end up on used car lots across the country.

While the car may look like it is in good condition, experts say it can be hard to tell exactly how much damage the car suffered and if the work is actually top quality.

Before purchasing a used car, AAA suggests:

  • Obtain a CARFAX Vehicle History Report– It could reveal if the vehicle has been involved in a flood, major crash or fire. However, some incidents are not reported and don’t make their way onto the CARFAX report.
  • Engage your sense of smell– See if you can smell any damp or musty odors inside the vehicle.
  • Look for replacement carpet or upholstery– Pull back the carpet in different areas and look for mud, dirt or signs of water stains.
  • Inspect the underside of the dashboard for signs of mud and dirt– This is a particularly hard area to clean.
  • Look under the vehicle for corrosion– It is uncommon to find corrosion in newer vehicles and those sold in southern states.
  • Open doors, hood and trunk and look for corrosion, mud or discoloration on the door frames and under weather stripping- Pay attention to small spaces and crevices that are difficult to clean.
  • Check all warning lights, window motors and all electrical components to make sure they are working- While a non-working part alone does not mean the vehicle was flooded, it could be a cause for concern.
  • Always have the vehicle inspected by a quality repair facility– AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities can be found at AAA’s website.

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