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Market could soon be flooded with damaged cars

Joco Auto Repair
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 18:01:02-04

SHAWNEE, Kan.  — Hundreds of cars have been damaged or totaled by record flooding throughout much of Missouri.

Many cars won't end up in a junkyard but instead will be repaired and resold, putting buyers at risk.

"When water gets inside the car, you know that it's been high enough to cause real problems," Alan Heriford, Owner of Joco Auto Repair said.

The long-term effects of water damage can haunt buyers for the life of the car.

Heriford said most damage can't be reversed. He said water damage can be hard to detect, but it's something he looks for during inspections.

Things to look out for if you're in the market for a car include rust where it shouldn't be, unusual smells and any waterlines throughout the car.

Whitney Motor Company in Merriam, Kansas has been selling used cars for more than 20 years.

"I don't retail flooded cars, if we should get one and we find out we have one, we'll just end up putting that back into the wholesale market," Brett Whitney, the company's owner said.

Whitney said he won't sell a flood-damaged car to his customers, but knows of other dealerships across the metro area that will.

He said he always suggests buyers do their homework before buying a used car.

"I offer CarFax to my customers and I don't charge, it's on the dash of all my cars," Whitney said.

CarFax offers a free flood damage check in addition to the vehicle history reports it sells. These checks show the possibility of flood damage based on the area history and registered address for the car at the time.

Buyers should be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true.

Whitney said flooded cars could hit the market in the next few months.