Reports of bad gas lingering since Harvey hit Houston; how to prevent damaging your car’s engine

HOUSTON -- Houston, we have a problem.

It's a case of bad gas and it's been lingering ever since Harvey hit.

The Texas Department of Agriculture said so far, it's received roughly 60 complaints of contaminated fuel in the Houston area.

Communications director Mark Loeffler said that number is expected to rise.

"Yeah I've heard about it, but mostly in the area where I live, in Richmond area. Apparently the tanks are faulty or something and people are getting water in their gas. It hasn't happened to any of my friends, I've just heard about it on social media," Daren Johnson said.

"That's super scary because my car is my life line and if it doesn't work, I don't work. I use my car for everything. My car is my job, literally. I'm working as a debris monitor for the cleanup, so I'm following all the trucks that are picking up the big piles," Abigail Lloyd said.

Local mechanic Larry Miller has been in business in the Hillcroft area for over 25 years.

He said his shop always sees a spike in repairs after a storm hits because pumping dirty gas into your car could spell disaster for your engine.

"After the storm, we get a lot of problems with engine damage because if water gets into your engine, your engine and transmission gets damaged. It locks up and sometimes it won't start," Miller said.

Miller said the cost of fixing a destroyed engine could run up to $4,500.

"To clean the gas tank would cost about $600 but if you change your engine, it could be a few thousand dollars," Miller said.

His advice is for keeping your engine clean?

"During the storm, you should buy gas from the major brand names like Exxon or Shell, because they have been through this before and they have standard ways of dealing with the flood than a mom and pop operation," Miller said.

Authorities said if your car stops working after filling up, you should file a complaint about that gas station with the Texas Department of Agriculture.