Tires could be exposing drivers to pothole damage - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Tires could be exposing drivers to pothole damage

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ROCKY HILL, CT (WFSB) -

Potholes are always going to be a problem through the transition out of winter, but if people think they seem to be getting worse, they might not be wrong. 

Some experts said it all comes down to the width of the tires on your car. Manufacturers are making thinner tires and that provides little protection when you hit a pothole. 

"The impact sliced the side. That's called a rim cut," said Rob Collum, of Modern Tire. 

Collum said he sees them at least once a day. 

"There's a crack right here in the side wall, and it actually bubbled a tire from a pothole being so deep," Collum said. 

Punctured tires, bent rims and alignments that are out of whack all from potholes, and it costs people hundreds of dollars. 

The problem appears each winter and spring, but business is booming at Modern Tire in Rocky Hill because there's a common theme. Cars with the thinnest tires are the ones that falter first and they're seeing more and more on the roads. 

"Usually the ones that are lower profile. The 35, 40, 45 series tires, even into the 50s," Collum said. 

Collum said they're much more common with the newer models. Take the Honda Civic for example, the model a few years ago provided better protection because it was thicker. 

The newer model shows a noticeable difference and Collum said the difference between a flat or a bent rim could be just a few inches. 

"All the newer cars are starting to come this way. They're all starting to be 55, 50 and 45 series tires," Collum said. 

The pothole patch crew was out in full force in Rocky Hill on Friday. Some are so notoriously deep, they've single handedly take several cars off the road and into Collum's service area. 

"It's all a daily abuse on the car itself," Collum said. 

Experts said to pay attention to tire pressure monitors because sometimes those are the first to alert people to problems. 

The second is steel versus alloy rims. Alloy is sturdier, but also harder to fix, many times people need a new rim. Steel isn't as sturdy, but can be molded back to shape. 

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