Protect yourself from costly pothole damage

Protect yourself from costly pothole damage
Protect yourself from costly pothole damage
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 7:26 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - They take over the roads every year, and yet, they still manage to sneak up on Michiganders.

Pothole season is nearly in full swing, and if drivers aren’t careful, the damage they cause could cost them thousands. After a long winter, full of freezing and thawing, potholes are already starting to appear underneath the melting snow.

Liskey’s Auto and Truck Service Owner Jerry Carpenter said this time of year is when he starts to see more customers coming through his door with dented rims, popped tires and vehicles out of alignment.

“We see a lot of cars coming in that didn’t survive,” he said. “They come in, wheels are bent, suspensions damaged. It’s not that uncommon to see a fair amount of damage to these cars.”

In his decades of auto repair experience, Carpenter has serviced cars with $3,000 or more in pothole damage. He said the best way to avoid high-cost repairs is to dodge potholes when possible. If it’s unavoidable, he recommends that people use their vehicles to their advantage.

“Slow that car down as much as you can before you get to it. But when you do get to that pothole, let off that break, let that suspension do its thing, let it go through that pothole, let that suspension move up and down.”

Drivers can’t always escape pothole-related damage to their vehicles. If they’re facing possible repairs, Randall’s Automotive Owner Craig Fountain said it’s important that they take care of it right away to avoid further damage. In addition, he said supply chain issues have continued to hike up the price of parts, so the cost to repair a vehicle today may not be the same in a few months.

“You can save yourself lots of wear and tear, rather than just ignoring stuff and letting it build to a bigger problem,” he said. “Especially if something comes apart.”

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