RICHMOND, VA — In the wake of recent flooding, CarMax, Inc., a retailer of used cars, advises how to avoid purchasing flood-damaged vehicles.

Buyers “should be aware that some businesses and individuals may try to sell salvaged and flood-damaged cars without revealing the vehicle history,” said Bryan Ennis, Nashville region vice president of purchasing for CarMax. “Flood-damaged cars that are not structurally or mechanically sound could be repaired, re-titled, and sold to unsuspecting buyers.”

CarMax’s purchasing team offers these ten tips for identifying a vehicle with possible flood damage. If any of these signs are identified, ask further questions to determine if flood damage occurred:

  1. Check for a moldy smell inside the car and feel the carpet for dampness.

  2. Be suspicious of an older car with a brand new interior or carpeting.

  3. Check for rust under the brake or gas pedals.

  4. Look for dirt or rust under the dashboard and floor mats.

  5. Inspect the bolts and screws under the seats for evidence of rust.

  6. Check the undercarriage for excessive rust.

  7. Check inside the trunk under the carpet and in the spare tire well area for rust, dirt, or sand.

  8. Look for corrosion, water marks, or a thin brown line on the exterior of the vehicle.

  9. Check to see if the electrical system works.

  10. Check the VIN number with AutoCheck or Carfax to see whether a flood claim has been filed or a salvage title has been issued on the vehicle.