Thursday, May 4, 2017

How to Defend Yourself Against Pothole Damage

OKEMOS, Mich.,––It's Spring in Michigan, which means one thing: rain and potholes. Wherever you travel in the state, you're bound to run into some potholes on the road, which can do some serious tire and wheel damage if you're not careful. Chevrolet recently shared some of their tips and tricks for surviving pothole season, and we've got a few to share with you too. Here's how to defend yourself against pothole damage this Spring:

How to Defend Yourself Against Pothole Damage

The following tips are courtesy of Chevrolet

1. Look Ahead and Slow Down

Being "defensive" about potholes can help you avoid them. Paying extra attention to the road can help you spot potholes before your tire sinks into one. If you do see a pothole, but can't avoid it, slow down. Hitting a pothole at a higher speed will increase your chances of damage.

2. Watch Out for Water 

If you've ever played the game "pothole or puddle", you're likely a seasoned Michigan driver. Potholes are often lurking beneath water, so be sure to drive around puddles if you can - especially the suspicious middle-of-the-road puddles.

3. Check Your Car for Damage 

If you hit a pothole that makes you cringe at the sound or feel, it's a good idea to pull over and check your car. Your car likely has sensors in the tires that will alert you if any one is losing air, however, there could be damage your car won't alert you about. It's better to catch damage early and avoid further damage.

4. Know What to Look For

Chevy said it best: "Potholes can cause more than just tire damage. Damage can also be done to tire rims, exhaust systems, alignment, and more. If you feel as if your car is making noises, pulling in one direction or operating irregularly be sure to take it into a professional to be assessed."

5. Help Your Fellow Drivers

If you've ever wondered "when are they going to patch that darn pothole?", you're not alone. You could in fact be the one to help get it fixed! Make sure to report any potholes to your nearest road commission.

6. Be Prepared 

You should already have a car jack, lug wrench, and spare tire in your car, but if you don't, you can find the appropriate tools at an auto parts or tire store! This is important not just for pothole season but year-round. If you're not confident in changing a tire, watch some videos on YouTube to get comfortable with the process just in case.

7. Check Your Tire Pressure

Your tires work best when properly inflated, meaning they will deal with a pothole best when properly inflated. Underinflated tires can be ruptured from potholes, while overinflated tires are even more susceptible to damage. Additionally, having properly inflated tires can help you achieve ideal fuel economy and extend the life of your tires.

How to Defend Yourself Against Pothole Damage

We'd like to give you a few additional tips regarding your tires:

8. Have Your Tires Rotated Regularly

This is a simple part of routine maintenance you can have done at your next oil change! Rotating your tires helps to keep wear even across all four tires, meaning you'll be able to use your tires longer. Having them rotated every 5-7,000 miles is the recommended maintenance period, which is about every other oil change for most drivers.

9. Get an Alignment 

While you probably don't need an alignment more than once a year, you can still have the professionals at Graff Okemos check the alignment for you. Having alignment that is "off" can cause your vehicle to pull to one side or the other. This also means your vehicle works harder to travel straight, meaning your tires can wear more quickly and your fuel efficiency may drop slightly

10. Check Your Tires 

Just by doing a visual inspection, you'll be able to see if your tread is too low and if there is any uneven wear or damage. These items are simply for general tire health, but as you might know, if your tires are already damaged, they're more likely to be damaged further if you hit a pothole. Our service technicians will gladly check your tires when you're in for an oil change or any other service.

Wherever you travel to in Michigan, we want you to be prepared in the event of a pothole catastrophe. We hope these tips on how to defend yourself against pothole damage helps you get through the Spring season! If you need any assistance in inspecting, inflating, rotating, or repairing your tires, please let us know. You can conveniently schedule your service appointment online. For even more Spring Car Care tips, visit our website and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Hank Graff Chevrolet Okemos is committed to providing you with integrity and convenience, all close to home. Let our friendly team of Chevy professionals at Hank Graff Okemos help you – simply call us at (517) 349-8300 or visit our showroom, located at 1748 W. Grand River Okemos, MI 48864. We’re just minutes from Lansing!

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