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Pothole Apocalypse: A Prediction for Spring Auto Body Repair in Winnipeg

All Star fixes pothole damage

Following one of the coldest winters of the last hundred years, Winnipeg auto body repair shops and vehicle owners alike prepare for its anticipated conclusion. Pothole season.

Especially hazardous driving conditions resulted in 20,000 collision claims in December alone, but the melting snow and rising temperatures don't mean a reprieve for Winnipeg drivers when it comes to auto body repair. Together with the approaching mild weather comes pothole season - in fact, this could be one of the worst years for potholes ever.

A deeper than normal frost line and repeated freeze-thaw cycles have resulted in a potential pothole apocalypse, with reports of some craters so large that the metal reinforcement is exposed.

How is a pothole created?

Moisture from rainwater or snowfall works into the ground under the road surface, and subzero temperatures cause the moisture to freeze and expand, pushing up the soil and the road above it. When the ice thaws the soil recedes, creating a weak spot beneath the pavement. Motor vehicles driving over this area break through the unsupported road, resulting in a pothole. The road salt used to safeguard drivers against ice-related accidents in the winter actually exacerbates the pothole epidemic months later- the salt lowers the freezing-point of the water, creating exactly the kind of conditions that weaken roads and lead to potholes.

What kinds of auto body repairs in Winnipeg can we expect in pothole season?

Wheels suffer the brunt of pothole damage: tires get punctured, wheel rims and hubcaps become bent and the steering system misaligns. Mufflers and the vehicle's suspension can be affected. Potholes cause doors to become off-balance and fenders, particularly on low clearance vehicles, become damaged and cause rusting.

What can Winnipeg drivers do to minimize the amount of money spent on auto body repair?

  • Maintain proper tire pressure.
  • Look out for puddles - puddles often mean potholes.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, it will increase your visibility of the road and the likelihood of seeing an impending pothole.
  • When approaching potholes, lower your speed.
  • Don't hit the brakes! Braking into a pothole might actually increase the damage to your vehicle, not prevent it.
  • Vibrations through the steering wheel or seat could be a warning sign of pothole damage. Safely exit traffic and pull off the road to inspect your vehicle. Replace a tire with your spare if necessary.
  • When considering making an insurance claim, remember to take the value of your deductible into account.

The Prediction

Although a long and dangerous winter is mostly in the rear-view mirror, the prediction for spring is equally ominous for Winnipeg drivers. Pothole season is upon us and auto body repair will be a necessity for many. Safe driving and regular inspection will help to maintain your vehicle's health in the coming months, but there are too many of them and we can't avoid them forever. Despite the best efforts of road repair crews, Winnipeg auto body repairs may be in your future.

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