New Orleans, Louisiana (NAPSI) - Recently, a number of extreme storms and hurricanes left thousands of cars in the surrounding areas damaged by floodwaters.

Unfortunately, it’s common for many of these flood-damaged cars to end up back on the road every year. But by doing a little homework, you can avoid buying a car that is rotting from the inside out.

To help, here are some tips:

• Check the trunk, glove compartment and below the seats for signs of water damage, such as mud or rust.

• Flex the wires beneath the dashboard. Wet wires will become brittle upon drying and may crack.

• Take a deep breath and smell for musty odors from mildew.

• Ask to see a vehicle history report. For example, Carfax Reports can reveal many hidden problems, including if a vehicle has reported flood damage.

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