Bunge's Tire & Auto Elgin, IL


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March 01, 2018 @ 12:00am

http://bungestire.com/sites/bungestire.com/assets/images/blog-folder/Newport_Whitepit_Lane_pot_hole.JPGOf the four seasons, winter is easily the most brutal on your car. From the damage caused by road salt to the hurt those potholes can put on your suspension, it’s safe to say that every part of your car can take a beating when the snow flies. Worse, it’s often not immediately apparent that there’s any damage, so a small problem can easily become a big problem if you’re not careful. Here are three common problems caused by winter driving and how to recognize them this spring.

Not only does snow cover hazards on the road, snow plows can carve out big chunks of asphalt and concrete, leading to potholes that can rattle your teeth before you even see them. Hitting a pot hole with enough force can damage your tires, even causing flats. This is especially true because cold weather can cause your tires to lose pressure, making them more susceptible to damage. But, more often, the pothole will knock your car out of alignment.

The tricky part about alignment issues is they often don’t show up until there’s lasting damage. If you feel your steering wheel pulling to one side, even slightly, or if you notice abnormal wear patterns on your tires, bring your car in immediately. (An example of an abnormal wear pattern would be excessive wear to the tire’s inside or outside edge.) Not only can misaligned tires be permanently damaged, your car could be damaged too.

The next issue is something you can see easily: Rust and corrosion caused by road salt. While salt makes an ideal substance to fight snow and ice, it’s terrible for the exposed surfaces of your car. And, the damage can often go beyond those nasty rust spots on your wheel wells.

Over time, salt damage can cause your hydraulic brake system to leak and even damage your car’s frame. Your exhaust system and muffler can rust through, too. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to combat: Whenever possible, take your car to a car wash that has an undercarriage spray system. If it’s still freezing outside, try to find a wash that utilizes a low pressure spray system and also hand dries your car. That way, you won’t have the issue of frozen door handles and doors.

The final problem is also relatively easy to check. Has your car had a harder time starting up? Have you noticed anything odd about your electrical system? Well, winter can be the most brutal to your car’s battery, often taking a battery that was okay in the fall and turning it into a battery that will barely get your car started. Not only does cold weather slow the chemical reactions that make your battery work, it can cause permanent damage to your battery. If you notice any signs of a sluggish start up, have your battery checked immediately.

Look for these three signs of winter damage to your car this spring. Getting them fixed while they’re still relatively small problems can save you a lot of time and money.

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