How to avoid buying used cars damaged by Matthew flooding

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hurricane Matthew left thousands of cars underwater, and it can be difficult to tell which vehicles were affected when it’s time to buy.

One Honda at Pugh’s Tire and Service in Greenville looked perfectly normal on the outside.

“There’s no water lines or anything like that,” said Daniel Lowry, a mechanic at the shop.

But the car reeks, and Lowry said that’s not the only problem.

“You can see there that the fluid’s supposed to be a nice cherry red,” said Lowry. “It’s brown on this one.”

Since most flooded cars are left with internal issues, it’s easy for someone to fix them up, sell them and get away with it.

“If they just repair the issue themselves or have somebody else repair it per their instructions, there’s no paper trail indicating that the car was ever flooded,” said Lowry. If you’re buying a car after a major flood event,

For consumers buying a car after a major flood event, there are four things to do before you finalize that purchase.

1. Check all the fluids.
2. Make sure there’s no mildew
3. Check for corrosion.
4. Get it checked by a professional.

If your car is flooded it could still run, but mechanics said to get it inspected as soon as possible.