TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In the coming weeks, an influx of previously flooded cars are expected to hit the market for sale.

They often are transported out of market so they can be sold to customers that may not be looking for signs of recent water damage, according to Consumer Reports.

The car might look okay at first glance, but how can you check to see if it’s been in a flood? Tony Mastrangelo at KeMas Auto Service in Boardman, Ohio, said water damage will show up in a car’s oil and fluids.

“Transmission becomes creamy, milky with liquid, and that’s the easiest way to check if it’s been submerged,” he said. “Once it’s been submerged, the computers and everything else associated with it is done.”

If you’re buying a used car, you should look and see if there’s rust where it shouldn’t be, like in hinges in the doors and hood, or a water line on the headlight covers. If the carpet has been replaced on an older model car, that’s another red flag.

A spokesperson for CarMax says the dealership does not sell previously flooded cars and want to make sure you don’t buy one somewhere else. She sent these tips:

  1. Check for mold. Give the interior a smell test. Are any of the carpets damp at all to the touch?
  2. Look for new carpets. Are the carpets newly installed? Ask why. Older vehicles with all-new carpeting should be questioned.
  3. See any rust? Any rust on the vehicle—on the bodywork but especially under the hood or inside the vehicle—is cause for concern. Check around the gas and brake pedals for rust.
  4. Check for dirt or sand. Look under the dashboard. Pull back the floormats and inspect.
  5. Check the seats’ anchor points. Bolts and screws under the seat are a common hotspot for rust.
  6. Inspect the undercarriage for excessive rust. Get under there with a flashlight and have a good look around. Don’t just inspect the frame—check all wiring, brake lines, and brake system and wiring connections.
  7. Don’t forget the spare tire well. Some cars don’t carry spare tires in their trunks; search the lowest points in the trunk, under the carpet or mats.
  8. Keep an eye out for water marks. Cars’ exteriors can be washed; however, it’s harder to hide water marks behind the exterior panels.
  9. Test all electrical systems. Wiring is particularly susceptible to damage caused by salt water. 
  10. Check the car’s VIN. Visit AutoCheck or Carfax in order to know whether a flood claim has been has been filed on a vehicle, or whether a salvage title has been issued. Every CarMax car you find online links to a free background check of that car’s history—including any accidents or frame damage.