AAA is warning motorists looking to purchase a used car to beware of flood damaged vehicles for sale. Spokesperson Don Redman says usually damaged cars are quickly moved farther away from the devastated areas as early as one week after the disaster. He says be careful when buying a car off of Craigslist or resale sites.

“If you’re not dealing with a reputable dealer, you definitely want to take extra precautions. These are vehicles that are sold in auctions a lot of times and end up in any number of lots.”

Redman advises people to use their sense of smell to detect any wet or musty odors inside the car. He also says to check for new carpeting, as well as, areas where there could still be signs of dirt or mud.

“Look up under the dash board, areas that may not have been reached thoroughly just to see or even looking on the exterior, looking at the windows, are the windows fogged up from the inside?”

Redman says no matter what, you always want to get a Carfax report or some kind of vehicle history because it can give an indication of where the car is coming from. He says the potential damage from the flooded vehicles may not be obvious in the short term but…

“In the long term, in terms of corroding the wiring, a lot of parts of the brain of your car are actually mounted under your seat and so if water rises above that, you’re going to see some short circuiting.”