BURTON (WJRT) - (02/08/19) - Brace yourself for another teeth-rattling season of potholes and cracked pavement on Mid-Michigan roads.
This winter is already starting to take its toll on vehicles, blowing out tires and bending wheel rims.
The freeze-thaw cycle has kicked into high gear over the past month, with temperatures swinging wildly from 40s and 50s to sub-zero cold. That's caused existing potholes to expand and new ones to rattle the teeth and nerves of drivers.
Tire shops are busy repairing the damage and replacing bent rims. Costs to repair pothole damage easily can reach several thousand dollars.
"It's been bad. And I drive an SUV and I've never had anything like this. I thought that my rim was bent today. It wasn't. My tire's got to go," said Dr. Oscar Wright, a Flint resident and dentist.
"I had a flat and so now I'm driving on a doughnut and that was not happy, that I was making sure I didn't hit potholes and there are potholes -- many," added Christine Hibbard from Millington.
After a slow start to the season, business has picked up for many tire stores as employees swap out old rubber for a new set of wheels.
"Yeah, the cold snap brings in a lot of stuff, especially from the potholes.
I'm sure anybody that's driven Michigan roads understands that with that cold weather comes the potholes and we've seen it with a lot of force right now, damaged wheels," said Brian Ambs, store manager at the Burton Belle Tire location.
In addition to replacing tires and rims, there are other parts of vehicles that can use some extra attention this time of year. Bushings and suspension components also take a bit every winter and spring.
Batteries and wipers can also succumb to cold, ice and snow, so be sure to check them too.