Wear and tear

Published 11:00 pm Friday, July 13, 2012


Cars drive on South Brundidge Street in Troy, Ala., Friday, July 13, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Automotive experts warn of possible vehicle damage

By Whitley Kilcrease

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If congested traffic isn’t enough reason for motorists to avoid South Brundidge Street recently, vehicle owners should also be aware of damage that can occur navigating the rough, uneven area.

“It can cause quite a bit of damage,” Brandon Thomas with Expert Tire said. “It puts a lot of wear and tear on tires and tread when the road isn’t smooth. It basically chews up the tire, especially if you’re on it every day.”

Thomas also said potholes and deep dips in the road can cause suspension problems and affect tire alignment.

“It takes more to control the car on uneven roads, so it wears down the suspension quicker.”

According to Thomas, smaller compact cars are more at risk of suspension damage than trucks or SUVs.

“The suspension on a bigger vehicle is set up heavier, so it can take more than, say, a Honda Civic.”

A spokesman for Troy Discount Tires said potholes or big bumps in the road are more of a cause for concern than wear and tear by rough, porous roads. He also said conditions like this can even bend the rims of some smaller cars, something that’s very costly to repair.

Chad Mclendon of Harris Tire Company suggests motorists drive at a slower pace or avoid road construction areas altogether.

“As far as the effects on tires, imagine you’re driving your car over a big piece of sandpaper. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.” Mclendon said. “Driving at slower speeds, you’re going to be able to notice loose gravel, potholes and things like that.”

Mclendon also said rough roads cause rubber on tires to have less impact and can lead to less traction and diminished control of the vehicle.

While some may be concerned about tires and tread life, others may worry about the impact tar and other roadwork materials can have on automobile paint jobs.

“All of it’s not going to be easy to get off,” Johnny Davis of AJ Auto Sales and Detailing said.

“You also want to be careful about loose gravel that can come up and scratch the paint.”

Davis said he uses a bug and tar remover, but that gasoline is also effective eliminating tar stains.

Bobby Buckman of United Car Wash said they use a special pre-wash beforehand to loosen any stuck on dirt, bugs or other material such as tar.

“The pre-wash we do here is strong enough to get tar and bugs and stuff like that off,” Buckman said. “Then you just run your car through the wash and it should all be completely gone.”

Glory Rogers of Espree Car Wash on Three Notch Street suggests that vehicle owners remove any tar as soon as possible.

“Once that tar dries on there, it’s going to be very hard to get it off,” Rogers said.

“There’s tar and bug removers that you can buy, and we have it here, that do a good job getting stuff off. But the sooner, the better.”

Rogers also advises against using scrubbing brushes to remove dirt and tar because they can scratch the paint off cars and cause more damage.

Instead she suggests using a “bug-scrubber” or a specialized brush for scouring cars. These materials and others can be found any place car-washing materials are sold.

Expected completion of the South Brundidge Street project is in three to five weeks. Troy residents are encouraged to take alternate routes when possible.