Malaysian flood victims get creative to cut clean-up costs

Malaysian flood victims get creative to cut clean-up costs

KOTA BARU - While many flood victims send their damaged cars to be cleaned at workshops, some do it themselves without having to fork out hundreds of ringgit.

Kueh seller Wan Zainun Wan Yusof, 42, from Kampung Lembah Sireh in Tumpat, roped in her five children to help clean up her Honda Civic.

"My car was submerged for about half a metre and only the lower part of the interior was affected.

"I thought that I should not waste money as the damage was not too bad.

"I only used bathing soap and shampoo, and it took us about a week before the car was fully cleaned," she said yesterday.

"The seat cushion was the most difficult part to clean because we had to do it several times until the foul smell was gone."

Still, Wan Zainun said that she might need to spend money to get the engine checked.

"One day after sending my children to school, I saw smoke coming out from the engine compartment.

"I guess the floodwater might have got into the engine as well," she added.

Mohd Rashid Mamat, 57, was luckier than most car owners as he knew a friend who could do minor repairs.

He had parked his Proton Saga about 100m away from his house at Taman Desa SBJ Putra in Tumpat when the floods struck.

"We had no problem with floods in the past few years. But this time, the water rose and my car was affected.

"I managed to bring it to higher ground or else the damage could have been worse," he added.

It took a week for Rashid and his friend to get the car back to normal.

"I gave my friend RM200 (S$74) to get all the necessary parts and a small token for helping me," he added.

Apart from changing the carpet, Rashid did most of the cleaning while his friend helped him change the brakes, brake oil, brake pumps and other minor parts.

A check on several workshops here yesterday found that the price range to get mechanics to clean flood-damaged cars ranged between RM200 to RM600 depending on the type and condition.

Car wash operator Wan Mohamed Abdul Kadir, 63, whose shop is located at Jalan Kebun Sultan, said he charged between RM20 and RM30 as long as the car was not fully submerged and had a minimal amount of dirt trapped inside.

"We can do it if the stain is not too tough to remove, as we are only equipped with water jets and some normal car cleaning tools.

"For tougher stains, we would advise our customers to get mechanics to clean their cars," he said.

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