Carfax warns buyers of damaged car listings from Hurricane Ida

CHARLOTTE — With the demand for used cars on the rise, they can cost as much as new ones in some cases. So you may be tempted to jump on a good deal if you see one.

Watch out for vehicles that have been in floodwaters, especially after Hurricane Ida.

Carfax said hundreds of thousands of flood vehicles were already on the road before Hurricane Ida. The company said both Carolinas had among the most in the country, North Carolina being fifth-most and South Carolina being eighth-most.

And now Carfax expects more than 200,000 Hurricane Ida flooded vehicles to add to the total.

“Flooded cars literally rot from the inside out,” Carfax’s Chris Basso said. The water affects the electrical systems, the mechanical systems, and the safety systems of your vehicle, not to mention the potential health hazards of the mold and bacteria that are building up in the car.”

Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke said here’s how to protect yourself before you buy a used car:

  • Test drive the vehicle.
  • Have a trusted mechanic inspect it.
  • Check out sites, like Carfax, that offer free checks to see if someone reported flood damage to the vehicle.

Stoogenke also said to make sure you inspect the vehicle yourself:

  • Check the smell. Be suspicious if it smells musty, mildewy, or too clean like the seller is trying to mask an odor.
  • Look for water stains on the fabric or moisture in the headlights.
  • See if any metal parts have rusted.

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