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Chemicals Used To De-Ice Roads Causing Spike In Tire Problems

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The cold weather may be gone for now, but it'll be back again - sooner rather than later since it's not even mid-January.

It's a problem unique to winter driving and it doesn't get as much attention as dead batteries.

It involves the chemicals and abrasives used to treat roads when they are snow or ice covered.

Mike Gomez, the manager of Flynn Tires in Ross Township, says it's not unusual for the calcium chloride and other chemicals to get between the tire and the wheel, and start eating away or oxidizing the sealant.

If that happens, the tire has to be dismantled and re-mounted.

"We take a grinder, or a wire brush, and we clear off the oxidation, put cement on there, then re-mount, and re-balance the tires," says Gomez.

The more salt they throw on the road, the quicker the problem occurs, according to Gomez.

He says his shop sees it happening more frequently with aluminum than with steel wheels.

In addition, cold weather impacts tire pressure.

Gomez says he sees a lot of customers in his shop because their tire monitoring system light has flashed on even though they don't have a flat tire.

Experts say during cold weather months, it's a good idea to check your vehicles tire pressure at least once a week.

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