Many Louisiana automobile dealers were affected by the recent flooding in our state. In some cases entire inventories of new and pre-owned vehicles had be declared total losses. Unfortunately many of these cars will wind up in some other location and be sold to unsuspecting consumers.

It's your responsibility as a buyer to understand the dangers or purchasing a vehicle that was damaged by flood waters. Don Redman is a spokesman for the American Automobile Association and he suggested in comments made to the Louisiana Radio Network that the reputation of your automobile dealer is something you should place a high priority on.

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.

To the untrained and unsuspecting eye many of these flood damaged vehicles might look just fine. In fact, the deal on these cars might even seem too good to be true. It isn't. Redman suggested that you let your nose be your guide in checking out a potential vehicle. If the interior of the vehicle has a musty smell or the smell of having once been wet, that's not a good sign.

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?

A Carfax is always a great idea. A vehicle that's been declared a total loss in a flood will have that noted in the vehicle history if it was paid off by an insurance company.  Perhaps you're looking a buying a car from an online site or a private seller ask for a history of the vehicle. If the car originally came from a flood ravaged area you might consider that a good reason to pass on the deal.