Recent articles in both “Motor” and “Lubes & Greases” magazines draw attention to the approximately half-million vehicles that were flooded by Hurricanes Harvey & Irma. While many of these vehicles will wind up on the scrap heap, some WILL find their way onto used car lots. There’s a good chance that these cars will have new titles and no record of being submerged. IMHO, these cars are bad news and should be avoided. How can this be done? Make sure a thorough inspection is done by a reputable shop before purchasing the vehicle. Things to look for: A musty odor of mildew in the interior; Watermarks on the door panels and inside the trunk; Sand, leaves, mud and debris lodged in corners inside and out; Corrosion on exposed wiring and on bare metal surfaces. More subtle and hard to find indicators include window regulators that do not operate smoothly. Not only does sand get in the gearing, but exposure to water removes the lubrication from the mechanism. The same is true of door & trunk hinges, and any other area that is exposed to water. If a buyer knows about flood damage in a vehicle before purchase and can repair the damage, they may have a good deal. But most often, these vehicles end up giving the new owners headaches and large repair bills. So…Let the buyer beware.