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Be on the lookout for flood titled vehicles

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CBS NEWS reports that as many as 500,000 cars were flooded amid rising water and dramatic rescues of Hurricane Harvey.

That's why the Illinois Secretary of State's office is now warning consumers about the possibility of buying used cars that might have hidden flood damage from Hurricane Harvey.

DJ Peters of Niehaus Auto Inc. in Quincy knows how to size up a used car. He said it takes a meticulous eye to find clues of water damage from flooding.

"You can look inside the door panels, underneath the carpet, in the cup holders and then the interior and there should be kinda water marks if the water was up that high,” said Peters.

There are different levels of flooding depending on how high the water came up on the vehicle.

Peters says in light of recent events, fully submerged cars are very unlikely to be sold again.

Peters also said, "When an insurance company comes in and actually considers a car a flood car, all's the water does is essentially have to get up to the rockers on the car, which is only a couple inches on a lot of vehicles.”

He said it might not actually get water in the vehicle but by insurance standards that's considered a flood vehicle and will end up with a flood title.

A mechanic at the shop also mentioned, most engines are sealed. That means oil in the motor doesn't normally drip out. Therefore, water from flood water won't normally get in the motor.

"You know parts can get wet, and things on the car are meant to get wet. There's a lot saying your suspension, and your tires and all that are made to withstand weather,” said Peters.

Before you buy a flood title car, you're asked to check for any visible signs or smells.

Also, ask your salesman what flood level type your next purchase may be.

Experts say don't let a cheaper price tag on a car fool you. Take it to a mechanic to have it checked out first.

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