FORT MYERS, Fla. — Car dealerships are on the lookout for damaged cars.
Dealers in Fort Myers are weary of ravaged rides from Harvey and Irma. “We are extremely cautious of what we buy and where we buy it,” says John DiLeonardo, the general manager of Modern Corporation Auto Sales in Fort Myers.
DiLeonardo and the rest of his team are aware of the threat of flood damaged cars and trucks. He says dealerships like his know the warning signs.
“We are actually looking for the signs that may lead us to any kind of possible damage from the hurricane especially water,” he said.
DiLeonardo says people who try and get away with clunkers have grown smarter. They try to hide the flaws behind a shiny new paint job, but there is one red flag that can’t be covered up with fresh paint.
“If a vehicle has been in a flood, you will notice electrical problems,” said DiLeonardo, “That stuff won’t go away,” he added.
Dealerships are required by law to do all of the necessary inspections to make sure flood damaged cars don’t wind up in their lots.
“We try to find out where they came from and have them mechanically inspected,” said DiLeonardo, “If it doesn’t pass our inspection, we send it back. We don’t want to get involved with it,” he added.
DiLeonardo also told 4 In Your Corner he expects a spike in car sales both used and new cars. He suggests customers to do their homework before they arrive at a dealer’s lot.
He also gave a tip to worried car shoppers. Dealerships like his will go the extra mile and run through another inspection on any car you like.
“We will actually take the vehicle to their mechanic for them,” said DiLeonardo. “Just set up an appointment,” he added.