1. "Hurricane Sandy Destroyed Up To 250,000 Cars...Nov 7 (Reuters) - Superstorm Sandy may consign as many as a quarter of a million new and used cars and trucks to the scrap heap, ..."http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/hurricane-sandy-cars_n_2090916.html 2. Wrong. The situation will open the door to scam artists who buy up 'the scrap heap,' and sell same as 'clean' used cars. Yup. 3. The insurance companies totals these flood-damaged cars, pays the insured, and brands the title on these cars indicating the type of loss (Salvage, Rebuilt Wreck, Flood Victim), and takes ownership of the vehicles. These vehicles are taken to insurance auctions. 4. 'Entrepreneurs' will buy these flood-damaged cars with high end names (Lexus, Mercedes, Cadillac) at the lowest possible prices and then have them rebuilt as cheaply as possible. Then these cars are resold in the auction circuit. Their modus operandi is to sell them in places as far as possible from the hurricane so as not to raise any suspicions from the dealer or the retail customer. 5. So you think all you have to do avoid the problem is to do a title check? Wrong. Car Doctor Ron Ananian on WOR Radio, explained that there are some disreputable businesses who will pick up these cars at the insurance auction, have them cheaply reconditioned, take them over state lines where they are re-registered over and over, eventually the insurance brand is removed or washed from title. Thats where the term title washing comes from. Once a clean title is issued, the car will be sold in the auction circuit under false pretenses. 6. How can you detect that a reconditioned car was in a flood? a. Primary is to hire a professional to do a pre-purchase inspection who knows what clues to look for. He will do an electrical test and can ascertain if any of the circuits are damaged. If you dont have trustworthy mechanic, Alliance Inspection Management (AiM) can provide that service. It is now in the process of inspecting hundreds of Sandy vehicles. Another company that does this type of pre-purchase inspection is inspectmyride.com. b. Look for water marks in the engine compartment, door jamb and the trunk. Another place to check is the wheel well for the spare tire. Look for water lines and/or rust. Look for green crust-like substance in the electrical plugs and junction. Look under the seat and check for rust where the seats are mounted to the floor. Also check to see if the carpet is either loose or wrinkly. The carpet may be sloppily put back in place after car was repaired. And look under seats and dashboard for silt or mud. 7. An experienced technician would also check to see if the equipment in the car matches what its supposed to come with. If it doesnt come with specified engine or a set of equipment for that specific model, you should question why. Could be a sign that the car was rebuilt. 8. And this may escape some: if a car was submerged, water no doubt got into all the ports for adding fluids! Check for: milky engine oil, milky power steering fluid, and automatic transmission fluid that looks has strawberry milkshake color. 9. According to the 'Car Doctor Ron Ananian,' cars and car parts damaged by Katrina were in circulation for several years after that weather catastrophe. Caveat Emptor! 10. Sources: Beware Flood Damaged Car Scams In Sandy Aftermath Used Car Buying Tips - Beware Hurricane Sandy-damaged carsCar Buying Tips Following Hurricane Sandy, Here's How To Avoid Buying A Flood Damaged Car; Don't Get Soaked - Forbes ....or maybe....stick to brand new cars.