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How to avoid buying a flood-damaged car

Flood damage is so catastrophic for a car’s health – causing rot, frying electronics, etc. – that most insurance providers instantly total them. And yet, shady resellers will buy them cheap, dry them out, and dump them onto unsuspecting buyers.

Now, with 10,000+ Hurricane Ian vehicles being trucked to other markets, how do you spot – and avoid – a waterlogged nightmare?

• Check for smells, grit, grime, or rust all over

• Check for new or mismatched screws

• Get a pre-purchase inspection within the return window

• Use Experian AutoCheck for a free VIN report

In the end, follow your gut. If something feels off, run.

Chris Butsch, Contributor

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