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Watch out for used cars flooded by Hurricane Sandy | News

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Watch out for used cars flooded by Hurricane Sandy
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ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Car expert Gail Dunn of Alpharetta wouldn't recommend buying a flooded car, even if it seems like a bargain.

"If you turn around and have to replace a transmission and spend $4,000, have you saved anything?" Dunn asked during an interview with 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie. "You're always running the risk of something like that happening."

Dunn is president of Women's Automotive Connection, Inc. She said she has no doubt that vehicles submerged by Hurricane Sandy will eventually be sold in Georgia.

A total of 15,000 damaged cars are sitting on a rarely-used airport runway on Long Island ready to be auctioned.

Dunn said in some cases the title will look clean, but not the history.

An online search of the VIN number will show whether the vehicle's ever been totaled by insurance. The car history might also describe the vehicle as a "flood car."

Dunn also suggests getting the vehicle checked by a certified mechanic.

"The saltwater will corrode everything," Dunn said. 

Dunn met 11Alive at Crabapple Car Care to point out some of the warning signs. She looked over an older vehicle from Florida that was exposed to years of salt, explaining that those are the same elements that do so much damage so quickly in a Hurricane.

"Once it's been salvaged, it's never going to be right again," Dunn added. 

Excessive rust underneath can start right away, but Dunn says damage to the computer systems might not show up for months or years down the road.

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