TAKING ACTION: Flood-Damaged Cars Could Make Way To Alabama Car Lots

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The search for a new car can be dizzying, and often we're looking for a deal. But pre-owned cars could have a questionable history. Especially after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

"When you see big storms like Sandy, when they're going through the aftermath some of these cars can really move all around the country," said Zack Penney, General Manager of Bill Penney Toyota. "It's something consumers and businesses who sell to consumers really need to be aware of."

As insurance companies deem the water-logged cars beyond repair, owners look to get them off their hands.

"There aer really talented people in the market today that can take a car that is salvaged and repair it to look like new condition to most people's eyes."

But a shiny exterior can be deceiving. Silt and rust can find its way under the hood, and the flooding can cause electrical and mechanical problems that can send you back to the shop for years to come.

"Before you buy, take it to a certified reputable technician or service facility," advised Penney.

For about $50, you can get an assessment on the condition of the mechanical parts, fluids, tire and brake wear, so you're informed before you buy.

History reports from sits like Carfax and AutoCheck aggregate information on a car's past, from fender benders to flooding.

Penney says it could be a few months before reports on the cars damaged by sandy will be posted on those sites. In the meantime, he advises everyone spend the money for a mechanical check up front, to prevent thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

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