If you want to see the impact of America’s crumbling roads, check out your local tire shops.
And especially now – during pothole season – shops and customers are paying for it.
Chad Rutherford, manager of Best One of Indy in Indianapolis, Indiana, told the Indianapolis Star that for about the past six weeks, he and his crew have been working six-day weeks averaging 12 hours a day.
Drivers in the U.S. will spend at least $3 billion every year because of car damage caused by crumbling roadways, depending on the severity of the winter season, according to a recent AAA survey. And the cost of replacing flat tires and bent wheel rims is only part of the mix.
Potholes can also damage steering and chassis components. Left unrepaired, these issues can lead to poor handling, premature wear and potentially unsafe operating conditions, according to ACDelco.
“A bulge in your tire or a bent rim are obvious signs of pothole damage but chassis damage isn’t always visible at first glance,” said John Latner, ACDelco’s technical training manager. “Drivers should not delay taking their vehicle to a mechanic if they notice vibrations, or clunking and grinding noises. Those can be signs of steering suspension damage and a possible safety issue.”
AAA estimates drivers will experience pothole-related vehicle damage that will cost between $250 and $1,000 to fix.
The most frequently damaged chassis parts are steering and suspension parts, such as bushings, control arms, ball joints, tie rods, shock absorbers and struts, according to ACDelco. To meet growing demand for chassis components, the company has added more than 1,400 parts to its product lineup, including 500 this year and 900 last year. New parts include more than 200 bushings and more than 100 control arms.
For more information on ACDelco parts, click here.
Due to changing technologies, Latner recommends having a trained professional perform parts changes.
“In addition, any time you exchange parts, you should have your technician perform a wheel alignment to make sure there is a successful and complete repair,” he added.
Article courtesy TIRE REVIEW.