Water damaged cars are flooding local used car lots

Water damaged cars are flooding local used car lots.

To check to see if your recently-purchased used car has been flooded, check

Recent hurricanes have led to a spike in the number of flooded cars hitting the used car market.

There are 150,000 flooded cars, cleaned up and offered for sale, 1,000 of them right here in Jacksonville.

After hurricanes Florence and Michael we wanted remind you of an Action News Jax Investigation into how you can spot a flood damaged car. Action News Jax investigator Paige Kelton shows the signs that a car has been underwater.

Original Story: Flooded cars are a ticking time bomb, expert says

Every year Americans, buy more used cars than new.

An Action News Jax Investigation uncovered that many cars that were flood damaged from hurricanes are for sale in the state of Florida. A Carfax report stated that there are 350,000 flood-damaged cars in the U.S. — and Florida is Ground Zero for these vehicles.

“This is one of the top states where flood damaged cars end up, either from hurricanes happening here or from those cars moving here,” Chris Basso of Carfax said.

There are ways to determine if a car has experienced flood damage.

PHOTO GALLERY: Must-see photos of Hurricane Irma damage 

Ed Roberts, the local Operations Director for Bozard Ford, says flood-damaged cars rot from the inside out. Checking under the carpets and the dash for screens that may reveal peeling from the edges. That’s one way to spot water damage, Roberts said.

"Vehicles today have countless numbers of modules for computers and carpets and insulation underneath them will hold the water, Roberts said. “So, it takes time to start showing issues.”

Florida is Ground Zero for flooded cars available for resale -- and they can be incredibly dangerous to drive. Fortunately, there are fool-proof ways to find out if your wheels are unsafe:

Posted by Action News Jax on Thursday, February 1, 2018

Other ways of spotting water damage are to check the air filter and the oil of the engine for signs of water and discoloration, as well as excessive corrosion.

Chris Basso of Carfax warns those buying cars to be aware of the possible risks to their safety that a water damaged vehicle could pose.

"Even the safety systems like your airbags and anti-lock brakes can be compromised, and that essentially turns your car into a ticking time bomb," Basso said.