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With Potholes Everywhere, Delaware Valley Tire Shops Are Bustling

By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- With the warm weather comes pothole season. State transportation departments in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey say they are doing their best to repair those tire-damaging road hazards but, in the meantime, the danger remains.

Spring is the busiest season for tire-repair shops. So, what is the best kind of tire to drive through these cratered streets?

John Gabriel, owner of Philadelphia Tire and Auto Services, on Broad Street near Spring Garden, says certain types of tires have the most problems.

"A high-performance tire, which is the low-profile tire, has a very small sidewall," he explains, "so if you hit a pothole, there is not anything to protect the side of the tire."

He says sport-utility tires are a bit better protection, because they have a taller sidewall and are stronger.

And what can you do if you get a flat from hitting a pothole?

"The only thing you can do is replace the tire," he says. "(And) if the wheel is damaged, you have to replace the rim."  He adds that "run-flat" tires may help you get to the repair shop, but not always.  And he points out they are available only on high-end vehicles such as Mercedes and BMW.

Gabriel says you should check with your insurance agent to see if your policy will pay for the lost tire, or count it toward your deductible.


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