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Expert Advises Which Car Repairs Can Wait, Which Are Urgent As Winter Conditions Take Toll

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Spring may be just around the corner, but there is still plenty of winter to contend with.

Potholes, road salt and other wintertime hazards have wreaked havoc on cars all across the region.

“We’ve had a lot of potholes that we’re kind of trying to maneuver around,” one driver said.

“It feels like your whole body is gonna explode. I’ve had to change four tires so far,” driver Maggie Keating told Brown.

Keating’s new tires have also been taking a beating this winter, as well as her car’s alignment.

“It’s definitely off but I’m not gonna go and get it fixed until the winter’s over,” she said.

John Everett of Cybert Tire and Car Care said Keating has her plan just right.

“Because you’re gonna go through additional potholes if you drive in this area, you’re gonna have the same condition repeat itself. So if the vehicle is safe to drive, perhaps don’t do an alignment right away,” he told Brown.

Other issues you can hold off on repairing, according to the experts:

  • Window cracks shorter than 2 inches long
  • Minor to medium scratches as long as they don’t interfere with the head or tail lights
  • Paint jobs

“Just having a car that’s mechanically safe and that can make it through these potholes in the city, that’s of utmost importance,” said Everett.

But there are some issues Everett said are important to get repaired right away, or you risk further damage to your vehicle.

Must-fix issues:

  • Blown or balding tires
  • Broken axels or tire rods
  • Window cracks longer than 2 inches
  • Alignment, if you notice extreme pulling or shaking

“Yeah, they’re not negotiable because then you get back in the car and you could be driving along and you certainly don’t want a tire or wheel falling off of your car,” Everett told Brown.

Experts said bottom line, in these conditions, looks don’t matter; mechanics do.

It is also advised that you wash your car as often as possible with all the road salt. But if you don’t, your car won’t suffer any major ill effects, since most cars now have a rust-resistant coating.

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