MISHAWAKA Potholes mean big business for auto repair shops. January and February are typically the slowest months of the year, but a record breaking season led to the strongest sales in 30 years.
Nate Zolman of Zolman Tire and Auto Care says extreme conditions on the roads meant people who typically avoid auto care in the winter were seeking help.
"People are unfortunately hitting potholes, ruining at least one tire, one wheel, knocking their vehicle out of alignment," said Zolman. "So, tires, wheels and alignment, steering suspension components are being affected significantly with the road conditions right now."
Electronic components are also increasingly damaged due to extreme cold. Zolman says some devices like power steering, locks and windows aren't functioning if temperatures drop below a certain point.
An average tire repair is around $150, but tack on an alignment, axle or multiple tires and the bill quickly adds up. Zolman says the average price he's seen this season is between $500-800.
To avoid big bills later on, Zolman suggests checking tire pressure monthly, having your vehicle aligned at least once a year and taking it easy over potholes.
"Your odds are better letting it roll through and absorb the impact instead of hitting it direct," said Zolman. "If you swerve and still hit it, then you're catching the side wall of the tire and that's not designed to take impact, the tread is designed to take most of the road impact."
To learn more about Zolman Tire and Auto, click here for the website