Pothole Season: Major Damage To Your Car, How To Report Them

9:10 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-- Potholes can cause major damage to your vehicle's suspension, and Greensboro and Winston-Salem want to give options for their citizens to report them.

Mike Mabe, the Operations Supervisor for the City of Greensboro Field Operations told WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford that they have had 140 pothole complaints since Dec. 1.

In the winter months, they'll patch potholes with a "winter mix" to get through the season. If there's a block or a street particularly bad, they'll go back in the Spring and pave the street. Sometimes with very deep potholes, a paving is needed because the temporary patching won't hold up.

To report a pothole in the city of Greensboro call: 373-CITY (2489)

The city keeps a list and tries to get to them as the calls come in.

In Winston-Salem, crews have repaired 33 potholes since Dec. 1.

However, that number could be more because crews will fix them as they see them around the city, even without complaints.

The supervisor explained that Winston-Salem crews will prioritize a list everyday depending on how busy the road is.

To report a pothole in the city of Winston-Salem, dial 311 if you're in the city limits or (336)727-8000.

WFMY News 2 talked to Scott Johnson, the owner of Greensboro Body Company who said the cold temperatures and snow causes the potholes.

"The water leaches down through the asphalt and then when it freezes, it actually gets what you call frost heaves," explained Johnson. These heaves pop the pavement up and force it to crack open.

Johnson said that damage to your car is usually suspension-related, which will cost between $1200 and $1600.

"If they're severe enough, they could actually break the belts in the tire and crack wheels, anything to do with what comes in contact with that pothole. It's real common to see suspension damage over a period of time just from driving on the roads in general because there are so many potholes out there."

Johnson suggests you inspect your tires if you hit a pothole. If a bubble occurs, that means you might have broken a belt, and it's leaking air. You might also notice your vehicle is out of balance or has a shaky steering wheel. That's an indication you've damaged something within in the wheel.

As the temperatures continue to drop, it's likely we'll see more potholes so Johnson's advice is to try and avoid them if you can safely and slow down. The faster you're going when you hit a pothole, the more stress on the belts and more likely for damage.

WFMY News 2

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