Category Archives: Boston Area Potholes
The Damage Caused by a Pothole
Boston area cities and towns experience extensive freeze/thaw cycles. You can expect to see more potholes in the winter and spring, following periods of cold temperatures and rain or snow. Unfortunately, as any seasoned Boston Area driver can tell you, hitting a pothole can wreak havoc on your car.
The damage caused by a pothole can vary widely, depending on several factors, such as the depth of the hole and the speed at which it is hit. Often the first casualty from hitting a pothole is the tires. Obviously, flat tires by way of punctures are a concern. Excessive tread wear and damage can also be a result of damage caused by potholes.
There are some subtle warning signs that a tire may have sustained damage caused by potholes. A bulge appearing in the sidewall of tires means there is a problem that needs to be looked at by the service professionals at the Mirak Service Center before a blowout occurs. Exhaust systems can be damaged when hitting a pothole as well. If new, different and louder, or just plain weird sounds coming from the muffler or exhaust pipe are in evidence it may mean there is a leak in the system or that some other component has been damaged and it should be looked at before it leads to something worse and generally more expensive.
Besides the tires, the suspension systems, (including the shocks and struts), are particularly vulnerable to damage caused by potholes. Since those components are designed to absorb the rough rides we sometimes subject our vehicles to in the Boston Area, the sudden jolt of hitting a deep pothole may be too much for the suspension system to handle, leading to potentially costly repairs.
Another classic pothole injury is having the alignment thrown off. This can be evident if the steering wheel must be held at an angle to keep the car traveling straight down the road. Since most of the wheel rims on modern vehicles are made of aluminum alloys, dings and dents can be easily inflicted by potholes.
Ways to Avoid Pothole Damage
The ways to avoid damage caused by potholes are pretty simple and straightforward. Be sure to keep the tires on vehicles inflated to the proper pressure. Over or under inflated tires are far more susceptible to pothole damage. So check your tire pressure often during pothole season.
Don’t tailgate, as this affords you less time to see a potential hazard approaching. If the weather is bad and visibility is compromised, slow down and again, leave plenty of space between vehicles so you have the most time possible to avoid potholes.
The Boston Globe maintains a current online map of potholes around the Boston Area.
The City of Boston now has a pothole app for mobile phones. This new technology could help you immediately tell someone who can do something about the pothole. The new app called “Street Bump” allows drivers to automatically report the road hazards to the city, Street Bump: http://bit.ly/MMbA85
To report a pothole on state-owned roads, motorists can call 511 using mobile devices or dial 617-973-7800, the Commonwealth’s Highway Division switchboard.
Repairing the Damage
Any damage caused by potholes can easily be diagnosed and fixed by the highly qualified professionals at the Mirak Service Center. We are prepared to work on any make or model of vehicle and have the ability to make appointments online in the Boston Area by visiting the Service Appointment Page, found here.
Of special interest to Pothole Victims, is that our Service Department often has special offers for front-end alignments. (Check our Service Specials Page, here.)
Sadly, sometimes a pothole can do more damage than an alignment can fix. Just look at this wheel after it came across an unfriendly pothole. This situation can be expensive if the only fix is to buy a new wheel. New car alloy wheels can easily cost as much as $500 each.
Mirak Chevrolet offers a great Road Hazard Tire & Wheel Protection Program. This coverage is up to 5 yrs and the coverage has no deductible. This will cover your tires for repairs or replacement should your tires become damaged by road hazards. It covers the wheels as well as the tires. For more information, give us a call or use the link below and ask for the Finance and Insurance Manager.
How can I file a claim for damage caused to my car by a pothole?
Often times the damage caused by a pothole will be reimbursed by the city or town where the damage occurred. Document your loss as best as possible- photograph the pothole in question and save receipts to document your loss. Then file a Notice of Claim form with the town clerk’s office in the city or town in question.
Mirak Chevrolet is a Boston Area Chevy dealer in Arlington, MA