How to look out for floodwater damaged cars

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) – When the flood waters began rising in late April and early May many were caught off guard.  In addition to the homes that flooded many vehicles flooded too.  Now those cars could be re-surfacing with "for sale" signs.

To protect yourself from falling victim to buying a flooded car used car dealer Danny Holder said there are many things you should know.

"You can look under the dash of a car you can look in the trunk of a car under the seat," said Holder.

"Lift up the carpet a little bit and feel up underneath it make sure it's not damp," said Ronnie Dulgar with Collision Repair.

In addition to checking for any remaining moisture Dulgar said you can also check for rust and corrosion.

"Inside the trunk would probably be the easiest place to look it's easier to pull up where the spare tire is that's probably one of the easiest places to look," said Dulgar.

Dulgar said if the water only got up into the floor board the car should be fine but if it got much higher there could be problems.

"It needs to be a total loss.  It shouldn't be repaired.  Once it gets over the dash compartment over the engine and is submerged for several days it shouldn't be fixed.  There are way to many things that could go wrong," said Dulgar.

"Some of them are going to get back out on the street so if you're looking for a car you need to look at the title.  Any reputable dealer is going to show you the title," said Holder.

Holder said he buys cars at auction and sells them to other dealers like the folks at Tyler Auto Sales in Pocahontas and is very careful about what he buys.

He said the title will show if the car has had previous damage but not everyone will be out for your best interest.

"There's going to be people to try to take advantage of that.  They're going to find a car and clean it up and try to pass it off and that's where you could get into trouble," said Holder.

Newer cars are basically big computers and that's why you should check the electrical parts of the car: the windows, the seats and the sun roof.  If you have concerns ask if you can take the car to a mechanic you trust to get it checked out.

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