Spring rains in the United States have not been kind to cars.
The president has declared 11 counties in Texas disaster areas due to heavy rains and flooding. Similar flooding has spanned the country from Virginia to Washington. In Houston alone, about 40,000 vehicles were reported lost due to flood damage.
Typically the damaged cars are either scrapped, or repaired and then given salvage titles and resold. Sometimes, though, unscrupulous sellers take advantage of loopholes in the law and repair the vehicles, retitle them in a new state, and sell them as normal used cars.
The flood-damaged cars can either come as an opportunity for DIY folks who want a good deal, or as an unwelcome surprise for someone who purchases one unwittingly after failing to look for signs of water.
Even if a car looks good and seems to run fine, expensive problems can appear later as corrosion continues to creep inside critical components. Unfortunately, flood-damaged vehicles can be hard to spot, but looking for these signs can help.