Buckling roads, winter conditions take toll on cars - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Buckling roads, winter conditions take toll on cars

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MADISON (WKOW) - Episodes of buckling pavement on Madison's Beltline have taken their toll on cars, adding to a list of winter, vehicle woes.

While tires have blown and alignments have been warped by the highway's loose cement, much of the car damage have been from chain reaction collisions. 

"Most people who hit a pothole or a buckled road on the Beltline, usually it's not going to be as severe as rolling over a curb,"  Smart Motors Service Manager Jim Ward says.

Ward says curb collisions on icy roads often damage the car's steering mechanism, and result in significant damage.  He offers advice in the event you're behind the wheel and skidding toward a curb.  "If the brakes are locked up - and you may have no choice, there might be a tree just beyond the curb, so you might want them locked up - if your wheels are locked up and not turning, there will be a lot more damage than if your wheels are turning as it goes over the curb," Ward says.

Mechanics say the area's cold snap has occupied technicians with one car part more than any other - the battery.

"I've got a couple of cars I can't even get batteries for,"  Ward says.  "It's ridiculous, even in the after-market, even trying to go to some of the places that specialize in batteries.  Nobody has them," he says.

To keep batteries charged in this bitter cold, Ward recommends driving your car for a twenty to thirty minute trip each day, if you otherwise are only driving infrequently and short distances.

Safety experts say to give yourself more reaction time to avoid buckled highway sections, make sure you are at least one car length away from the motorist in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.

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