Nobody Likes Potholes
Potholes get no love from anyone. Nobody thinks fondly back to the potholes of their youth, and nobody looks forward to hitting potholes on their way to work in the morning. And yet, every spring, the roads around Mansfield, MA start showing new potholes. It’s as sure of a sign of spring as the first robin or buds and fresh leaves on the trees, except nobody likes them.
Potholes are a problem in any area that’s subject to freeze/thaw cycles; the water in the soil under the pavement freezes and expands, putting stress on the asphalt. As the moist soil thaws, the stressed asphalt will sag and crack, allowing more moisture to seep in. The weight of vehicles pummels that already-weakened pavement until it fails altogether, and then a pothole is born.
As you know, the highway department isn’t always in a big hurry to fix potholes one they develop. Sometimes you can dodge them or straddle them as you go over, but sometimes you just can’t and you drop a wheel into a pothole so hard it sounds like a bomb going off under the car.
Potholes can be a real problem for your car. If you hit a pothole fast enough and hard enough, it can blow a tire, throw a wheel out of balance bend a rim or even cause an accident. The impact from a pothole can also be enough to damage steering and suspension components or knock a wheel out of its alignment specs. If that happens, that’s when you should come to us at New England Tire Car Care Center in Mansfield, MA.
A wheel that’s out of alignment can mean more than an annoying pull to one side while you’re trying to drive in a straight line. That wheel is pulling the car to one side because it’s trying to steer it in another direction, and that means added rolling resistance and friction while your vehicle is making its way down the road, compromising your fuel economy. As that wheel is dragged along, it will also be scrubbing tread from the tire in an uneven pattern, wearing the tire prematurely. It might not sound like much, but consider this: if a car with a wheel that’s out of alignment by only 1/8” was to go one mile with no steering input from the driver, it would drift 28 feet off of a straight line in the course of that mile.
At New England Tire Car Care Center in Mansfield, MA, our alignment techs are equipped with the latest in wheel alignment equipment to make sure that your car’s front wheels are in compliance with factory specs. That means better drivability, better road manners, better fuel economy and (of course) no more premature tire wear!
If you’re noticing unevenly worn tires, steering that pulls to one side, steering that feels clumsy or “heavy” or a steering wheel that no longer wants to center itself readily after turning a corner, make an appointment with us at New England Tire Car Care Center. And try to stay out of those potholes!
|Nobody Likes Potholes was written by Parker Ashton of New England Tire|