We’ve had two big storms recently hit the U.S. One was in Florida and the other was down in Texas. Here’s a little bit of advice if you’re looking to buying a used car in the next couple of months.

Avoid flood damaged cars.

Flood damaged cars have hidden damage from water infiltrating a lot of components. This is really true if they’ve sat in high water for days at a time. The water damage can damage electronics, fuel and lubrication systems, seep into a car’s engine, and cause corrosion to a car’s body.

Sometimes wholesalers will purchase flood damaged cars at auction, repair them, then take them to other parts of the country. These cars are then sold to buyers who would never suspect the damage that’s happened. It is very important for used car buyers across the United States to be on the lookout for any car that may have flood damage.

Many of these vehicles have a salvage title. This happens a lot on vehicles that have been flooded and repaired. A lot of these cars are written off as total losses by insurance adjusters.

Here’s what to look for when buying a vehicle you think has been flooded.

Check out the inside of the car for any damp smells. Look for water rings on the rugs and the upholstery, and check for signs of rust along the floorboards. Inspect for rust on unpainted screws underneath the car’s dashboard, inside of the trunk or underneath the hood. Also check for unusually new upholstery on an older model vehicle. A flooded car may also experience problems with its electrical systems, engine and fuel systems. These problems may not show up until you’ve owned the vehicle for a longer period of time.

We’d recommend getting a report of the vehicle’s history. This kind of report will let you know if the vehicle has been in any accidents. It’s also good to have an experienced mechanic take a look at the vehicle. They will uncover flood damage and any other issues that may affect its safety and performance.

Be vigilant if you’re going used car shopping in the next several months. There will be a lot of cars in the market that look like great deals upfront but won’t be worth the headache they will cause if they are purchased.