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pothole damage to tires

Is Pothole Damage Covered by the State, City, Town, or Your Insurance?

AAA reports that pothole damage accounts for around $3 billion a year in damages, accounting around 500,000 insurance claims per year,

Potholes happen mostly during the freeze/thaw winter months as water seeps into small cracks in the road and freezes. The cracks expand and contract, combined with heavy traffic, pavement age, vehicle weights, and snow plows, cracks become potholes.

Who’s Responsible for Pothole Damage?

Unfortunately, the responsibility for avoiding a pothole usually falls on the driver and in Massachusetts, it’s almost impossible to get the state or town to pay up for your pothole damage.

That’s because according to Massachusetts law MGL c.81, s.18 – Defects in Highway, Liability (State Roads) and MGL c.84, s.15 – Personal injuries or property damage from defective ways (City or Town Roads), you’ll need to prove that the state and/or town was negligent in repairing and maintaining road conditions.

And it’s going to be nearly impossible to prove that anyone knew about a pothole and failed to do anything about it.

While claims to the state are usually denied, some towns and cities will reimburse drivers for vehicle damage caused by potholes.

If you have a pothole “encounter”, make sure you take a picture of the pothole and damage to your vehicle, then determine who is responsible for the road (town/city/state). Go online and find the procedures to file a claim. Remember to get estimates from local auto repair shops before submitting your claim for approval.

Invest some time and you could get reimbursed without paying an insurance deductible.

Check out the City of Boston’s pothole claim procedure.

Is Pothole Damage Covered by Insurance?

If you bought a road-hazard protection plan on your tires and/or wheels that’s great! Hop, skip, and jump back to where you bought it!

If not, your car insurance will usually recognize an immediate damage claim, but you’ll probably pay a deductible and watch your renewal increase.

Much of the damage caused by potholes is wear and tear, with no specific incident to blame. If your car doesn’t feel right, get it checked out by tire and alignment professional with your best interests in mind.

Good luck! And don’t hesitate to call (508) 583-5031 or contact us with any of your concerns or questions about your car.


severe tire cracking

What About Tire Cracking and Dry Rot?

All tires develop tread or sidewall cracks over time – Just like humans, it’s usually a sign of aging.

Most drivers will wear out the tread before tire cracking ever becomes an issue. But just like tire blooming, tire cracking is common on vehicles that don’t get driven much – Trailers, RV’s, and classic and collector cars, your grandma’s car or church’s van.  On these vehicles, it’s possible the tires need to be replaced before they’re worn out.

Just like a 65-year-old person, your tires may look good and be holding air just fine, but put them under load on a 105-degree day and you’re inviting trouble. Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires every 6 years whether they’re worn out or not.

Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing tires every 6 years whether they’re worn out or not.

Tire cracking is also known as “dry-rot” and happens when the rubber starts to break down due to ozone. UV, and road salt.  You can reduce sidewall cracking by using a protectant with anti-ozinant, sunscreen, and a conditioner.  I recommend staying away from silicone or petroleum based tire cleaners that work too good and will deplete the tire’s protection and warranty even more.

Tire cracking can also be a manufacturing defect. We use Michelin’s guidelines to determine if your tire cracking is cosmetic (non-warrantable), or severe (warrantable), and will go to bat for you with tire cracking, or any other manufacturing defect when needed.

tire cracking chart

If you are unsure of your tires, it’s best to get them checked out asap. Call us (508) 443-1845, we’re always here to help.

Pothole tire damage

Pothole Tire Damage – Is My Wheel OK?

“A pothole swallowed my wheel and tire. There doesn’t look to be any visible damage to the wheel, but there’s a bulge in the tire and a vibration on the highway. What’s up?”

A bulge or bubble on the side of a tire usually means that the sidewall cords are broken or damaged due to impact. Go to your closest tire dealer and get the tire replaced asap. It’s a weak spot and the slightest of impacts could cause the tire to blow out! If it’s a big bubble, it might be better to put the spare on or call AAA.

A vibration on the highway usually means your tire and wheel are out of balance.

The wheel weights used to balance your tires could have come off on impact and a computerized high-speed balance might fix it. The wheel could be bent and beyond balancing, Most wheels can be repaired, but you might need a new wheel.

If something doesn’t look, fell, and smell right after an encounter with a pothole, it’s best to get it checked out asap.

Send me pictures, ask me about any of your pothole tire damage questions. Call(508) 583 5031. Email or message on Facebook. I’m here to get you back on the road with a safe vehicle and a minimum of fuss.




Free Tires for Life Scam

The Truth About Free Tires For Life

“Free Tires for Life” is a common ploy used by car dealers to keep you coming back to them.but the truth is you’ll more than pay for those free tires.

And as with anything that sounds too good to be true, what the large print giveth, the asterisk* taketh away.

Because if the car dealer said what it really means, the promotion would probably read something like this:

“the free tires aren’t really free since we included the estimated cost of this lifetime of tires in the price of the car we sold you and we’ll recoup the cost of the tires through the required maintenance we’ve just obligated you to do or risk voiding this contract.”

But, that’s too many words…So what are free tires for life?

A scam! Free tires for life means you have to go back to the car dealer all your service, not just the tire rotation, wheel balance, and wheel alignment, but all the routine oil changes and factory scheduled maintenance services too.

  • Miss a visit or go to anyone except them for any service? -No free tires for you!
  • Hit a curb? – Forget about a free tire!
  • Not riding on baloney skins yet? – You’ll need to be to get those free tires!

Car dealers exist to extort as much money as possible from you. They’ve using scams and gimmicks like “Free Tire For Life”, the high-pressure forced warranty, or overpriced GAP insurance to part you with your hard-earned money for years. You’ll understand what I mean if you’ve ever tried to collect on one of these policies.

Don’t fall prey to this scam. Buy your tires from a tire shop you trust and one that doesn’t play mind games – Ask about their free rotation and balancing as part of the deal, and get the alignments and other maintenance services if and when you need them.

The Tire Connector and mobile tire service by Tirefitter – Making it easy for you to buy tires.

Call (508) 443-1845, or email and message us.


We Always Install Two New Tires on the Rear

When replacing just two tires, always put them on the rear.

At the Continental tires test track in Uvalde, Texas, I drove a front-wheel-drive Nissan with two new tires on the front and worn out tires on the rear, enjoying pushing the limits of the little car, the squealing and smell of rubber….until the track got wet and in a flash the rear end whipped around and I was in a ditch!

That’s because rear tires provide stability. If the worn rear tires are hydroplaning, they can’t offer stability — even if the new fronts are providing plenty of steering ability. So, you can easily end up spinning out of control.

But if the new tires are on the rear, the fronts will lose grip before the rears – which can be an easier situation to cope with. Release the accelerator, leave your hands where they are, and wait for the traction to return – Avoid turning the steering wheel more or applying the brakes.

Our policy is to always put the 2 new tires on the rear axle – Please watch this safety video from Michelin. It’s a little dated but gets the point across.

Shop the Tire Connector for Michelin tires and choose mobile tire service by Tirefitter – Together we’re making it easy to buy tires.

Call (508) 443-1845, or email and message us.