Buyer Beware: Flood damaged cars could be headed to Ohio

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In the weeks after flooding from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated portions of the country, local mechanics are warning potential buyers to be aware of purchasing cars with flood damage.

Paul Balestra, owner of Dublin Road Auto Care says despite the damage flood waters can cause, these cars often find their way onto local lots and then local roads.

“It’s like soaking your toaster in the tub and expecting to make toast with it,” Balestra said.

Carfax estimates more than 325,000 flooded cars are back in use across the nation.

Balestra says there are signs a vehicle may have experienced flood damage. The key is to look for what the flood waters may have left behind. . . sand.

“It’s like when you own a dog you can never get all the dog hair out of your car,” he said. “Same idea.”

Balestra says to take a close look at the spare tire, side panels, and wheel wells. The Grandview mechanic says sellers often try to clean these areas to mask damage but it is hard to ever completely erase water lines.

“You’re going to spend a lot of money on it so you don’t want to spend a lot more after you buy it.”