Check for Flood Damage Before You Buy

A vehicle’s history report will not always show that it has flood damage. Pruitt’s Auto Collision is happy to check a vehicle for flood damage for free, before you purchase.

By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Automotive | Issue: January 2013

Randy and Liz Pruitt of Pruitt’s Auto Collision.

Randy and Liz Pruitt of Pruitt’s Auto Collision.

It’s a new year and many on the East Coast are still rebuilding their lives after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Besides the damage to homes and businesses, vehicles were also affected by the recent storms, and those flooded cars could make their way to Oklahoma.

Randy and Liz Pruitt of Pruitt’s Auto Collision in Owasso say consumers shopping for used cars are wise to be cautious. “It is sometimes difficult to tell if a car has flood damage,” says Liz.

“In addition to the obvious ­damage done to upholstery and carpeting, flood water is a ­corrosive and abrasive mixture of water and dirt that forces its way into every seam and crevice of an automobile,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Most vulnerable are the engine, transmission, steering and braking systems. Unless completely removed, dirt and other contaminants can cause premature wear of vital components and shorten the life of the vehicle.”

Randy shared the following ­suggestions:

    •Give it the sniff test and pay special attention to a moldy or musty smell.

    •Look at the carpet and upholstery for water-stain marks, rust stains or new or mismatched upholstery. A five-year-old car with brand-new upholstery is a sign that something may have been replaced.

    •Check for rust on screws in the console area, under floor mats, and look under the dashboard for dried mud or other flood residue.

    •Have the car inspected by a mechanic, who can put it on a lift and check the undercarriage for water damage or debris from floodwaters.

    •Look under the hood for mud or grit in the alternator, behind wires and around small openings in starter motors and power steering pumps.

    •Follow wires to check for signs of rust, water residue or corrosion.

Randy says the bottom line is being able to trust the shop. “Customers are often surprised when they bring in their vehicle and we find flood damage, because the vehicle’s history report did not show any damage.” Liz adds, “Randy has an eye for the things you may not notice, and he is happy to look over vehicles before you buy as a free service.” Randy is ASE and I-CAR trained, and is certified on the Chief frame machine and PPG paint systems. The Pruitt’s painter, John Nash, adds over 40 years of experience, and Jason Linzy, GM and Ford specialist, has over 15 years experience. Michael Minton is also back as a body man.

     Free estimates and front door service welcome you at Pruitt’s. Just pull up under the canopy and Randy will evaluate the damage and give you a written estimate for parts and labor. There is a Hertz Rent-A-Car onsite, and Pruitt’s will be happy to work with your insurance provider, while providing you the final say in repairs.

    Visit the Pruitt’s website,, or find them on Facebook and Twitter. Pruitt’s Auto Collision is located on the east service road of Highway 169 at 8231 N. Owasso Expy. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

For more information, contact

Pruitt’s Auto Collision

8231 N. Owasso Expy.Owasso, OK 74055(918)

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Pruitt's Auto Collision

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Pruitt's Auto Collision

(918) 274-4499 | Fax: 918-274-0405
8231 N. Owasso Expressway | Owasso, OK 74055
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