Beware of "Sandy" cars - NBC40.net

Beware of "Sandy" cars

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SOMERS POINT -

The cost from Hurricane Sandy is still being calculated, but experts say it will cost billions and it's not just homes that were damaged and destroyed, but also cars.

They are coming in one by one and keeping the mechanics at Autotech in Somers Point busy. They're the cars badly damaged or even destroyed by Sandy's flood waters.

"If you can see in there, all that corrosion just builds up in these modules, engine control module, trans control module and the car won't start, it wont run right," Autotech mechanic Steve Torelli explained as he inspected wires on a flooded car. 

It won't run right because experts say salt water is like cancer to a car, but on the outside the vehicle may look like a great car, especially if the price is right.

"If someone says oh it was in a flood, but its running fine, they are either desperate to get rid of the car and make some quick cash or they are just trying to blow smoke," Torelli added.

As you open the door of a recently flooded the smell of the ocean and bay hit you in the face and that's why car experts say it will take weeks or months before these cars get back on the market. So if you are looking in the next few weeks you should be ok, but if you are looking in the next six months to a year that's when buyers should beware.

"In the next few months or a year you will probably see some cars maybe in some off brand used car lots: What they will do is try and fix them up the best they can and resell them. That's when you gotta be really careful and get a carfax report and take the title and see if it's a salvaged title."

Experts say even if they are fixed up, the cars will have chronic problems.

"You have all sorts of wacky problems with it. Electrical problems, no starts occasionally, alarms going off in the middle of the night," Torelli added.

More than 600,000 cars were damaged during Hurricane Katrina and many are still on the market.

If you find a car you like, experts say always take it to a trusted mechanic before you buy it and ask for a vehicle inspection report.

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