Cars pour into workshops, car wash centres after Penang floods

As flood victims and volunteers worked long hours to clean up homes, streets and offices, mechanic Ng Chee Lun and his workers were working overtime to fix cars affected by the floods.
As flood victims and volunteers worked long hours to clean up homes, streets and offices, mechanic Ng Chee Lun and his workers were working overtime to fix cars affected by the floods.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Motor workshops and car wash operators in George Town are facing a different kind of deluge now.

The workshops are being flooded with thousands of cars damaged after last weekend's storm while the car wash centres are also inundated with people who want to get rid of the mud and sludge in their vehicles.

As flood victims and volunteers worked long hours to clean up homes, streets and offices, mechanic Ng Chee Lun and his workers were working overtime to fix cars affected by the floods.

There are so many cars waiting to be fixed that some of them have to be parked outside his workshop in Kampar Road here. In all, there are about 30 cars and he is not accepting any more.

"The cars have to be fully washed, inside and out, before we can look at the engine.

He said it would take about two weeks to fully repair a car, adding that the cost could easily come up to RM1,000 (S$322) for minor repairs.

He advised those whose cars had been submerged in flood waters not to start their vehicles immediately but to have a mechanic look at them first. Starting up a car with water in the engine leads to worse and more expensive damage.

A car wash owner at Jalan Kampung Pisang in Ayer Itam was seen drying numerous car seats under the sun at her shop on Wednesday (Nov 8).

Yeoh Air Lee said 20 cars that were submerged in flood waters were sent to her shop to be washed and cleaned.

She said mud and dirt stuck to the car seats made the washing more difficult.

"We have to spend some time to scrub off the dirt to ensure there are no stains left on the seats.

"We also need bright hot sun for the drying process. This will usually take about two days but if the weather is gloomy, it will take about a week," she said.

Yeoh said she was now giving out appointment dates to those coming to her shop to have their cars washed as there was no space to accommodate more vehicles.

Among those whose cars were submerged in flood waters is restaurant manager Mujahidin Idris.

Mujahidin, 40, said both his Honda CR-V and BMW were submerged in flood waters at the lower ground floor of the multi-storey car park at his condominium in Relau.

"I did not expect the lower ground to be flooded. Both my cars have been sent for repairs," he said, adding that he was grateful that a friend has lent him a car to use.