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Potholes Drive Business To Repair Shops

March 6, 2010, 6:00 PM by Nick Carbone

Potholes Drive Business To Repair Shops
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's hard to drive around Sioux Falls without running into rough roads, and while it's not good for drivers, it's been a boost for business at repair shops.

You may cringe every time you hit a pothole, but your car feels even more pain. And a constant beating by some bumpy roads could steer your car right to the repair shop.

"Sometimes it doesn't only damage tires, but it also damages the rims if the pothole is big enough," Tires Tires Tires manager Gary Michaels said.

Michaels' shop is seeing a slew of problems from potholes.

"People will hit a pothole and they'll not get a flat right away, but the next day they'll have a slow leak," he said.

And when you hit a pothole you might notice your car driving differently, but you might not see in any damage. In fact, all the damage could be inside the tire. In some cases, the tire's sidewall has shredded off, requiring a complete replacement. 

"They'll have a bulge on the side of their tire and they'll bring it in. We'll take the tire off the rim, and we'll see the damage on the inside," Michaels said.

Robbie Mielitz is replacing all four of his tires, after a winter's worth of wear and tear. 

"The tread was low and it was just time to get them done. Plus, I had one flat, anyway," Mielitz said.

But not all customers need such costly remedies. Michaels says some tires can be repaired with a simple patch. And other problems can be false alarms.

"People feel a rubbing in their wheel well and sometimes it's as simple as ice buildup - we've seen a big increase in that as well," Michaels said.

But rubbing or scraping can also be a sign of trouble. Michaels cautions drivers to pay attention to their cars - and to potholes on the road.

Mielitz says that's what he's done. He's changed his driving habits after learning rough roads helped ruin his tires.

"Have to slow down, take alternate routes, I guess," Mielitz said.

Because sometimes easing up on your car can keep the repair bills down.

Michaels recommends that drivers check their tire pressure often, because low pressure can be a sign of damage.

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