Flood cars into the Bluegrass one year after Superstorm Sandy

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It was this time last year that Superstorm Sandy ripped through the northeast, leaving behind damage and a lot of flooded vehicles. Some of those vehicles may have ended up in the Bluegrass.

A recent study found that Kentucky ranks in the top five states for cars with flood damage. But when buying a car, how do you know if it has flood damage or not?

Here in the Bluegrass, we have a lot of flooded cars from out of state. So how do you check if a car that you're interested in buying has flood damage? An auto tech at Before You Buy Auto Inspections in Lexington showed us how.

The one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy has brought on a lot of talk and maybe some flooded vehicles to your area. CARFAX reports as far as Kentucky goes, we have the fourth most flood cars in the country which is something to look out for.

"It's very common for them to be worried about what has happened. Why is it coming from New Jersey?" said Jesse Kirk, with Auto Tech Service in Lexington.

Sometimes the water damage from a flood is easy to spot, but other times you should have an auto tech check it out.

"It's a hidden curse," said Kirk. "You don't know it's there."

A local business in Lexington hasn't seen many. The shop foreman at Auto Tech Service, Tony Pfuelb, says they've checked out two or three vehicles with flood damage. But that doesn't mean they don't still check signs of flood damage. He says you should look underneath your vehicle and under the hood for sand, dirt, or mud in strange places. One good place to look is in wire connectors. Also, pay attention to how the car smells. That could be a sign of molding or someone trying to cover up water damage with strong air fresheners. Pfuelb added that looking in difficult places to clean, like door jams, air vents, and underneath seats, is also a good tip. Pull up the carpet and give that a look as well.

"We are trying to protect you from buying or putting an investment in a car that you have to turn around and do a lot of work to," said Pfuelb.

Your vehicle can be inspected for everything from collision damage to water damage for a flat rate at Before You Buy Auto Inspections in Lexington.

We checked with the Attorney General's Office to see if car salesmen have to tell you if the vehicle you're interested in buying has flood damage. Officials tell us the state requires titles to be branded as water-damaged or salvaged. However, a dealer can get fresh documentation that hides the vehicle's history before it enters Kentucky.

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