February Freeze: Mechanics Flooded with Repairs

Thursday, the bright sun broke down most of the snow and ice along Texoma's roadways into slush. Though streets were in better condition, the February Freeze hurt many cars while auto repair shops were helped by it.

Many auto problems were felt during the freeze. From dead batteries, to bald tires, to damaged fenders. According to the Manager at the Sears Auto Center, Bonnie Damron, all those bumps are creating extra cash for Texoma's repair shops.

"It has increased. The cold weather brings out all battery related problems, people become more aware of their tires when they lose traction on the ice and snow, so tire business has picked up," said Damron. "Those unfortunate souls that slid into curbs and stuff like that, they have to get their cars realigned."

Tyler Dalke, a technician with the Sears Auto Center agrees. "Lots of suspension work, people sliding on the ice, will curb check, tires blowing out. New tires, cause they find out the they are bald, they are sliding all over the ice," explained Dalke. "Lots of accidents, lot of body work, lot of suspension work, wearing parts, bald tires. Weather will kill the battery too."

All the weather related problems have caused business to boom by an estimated 10%. Thursday morning, the Sears Auto Center's waiting room was packed with people whose cars suffered damage during the storm. Technicians were busy testing tires and checking batteries.

However, not all cars had the same problems.

"Most ones that will come in with body damage is the lower set cars like little compacts, subcompacts. They'll come in without front bumpers because snow drifts will take it right off, curbs will take it right off," explained Dalke.

Those compact cars weren't the only ones with problems. No matter the make or model, many batteries have to be changed because of the February Freeze.

Yet the manager said the issues could have been worse.

"I would say some people have gotten prepared by going ahead and replacing tires that they probably weren't really ready to do at this moment. But because the weather was coming in, they decided to do the wise things," said Damron.

Experts also say they car owners should keep up with routine maintenance, just in case.

"Everybody should check their tires on a regular basis, make sure their air pressure is correct, that affects the traction that they get," she said. "It will save you some discomfort and maybe, on the side of the road, in the cold."

The Wichita Falls Sears serviced between 150 and 200 in the last couple weeks.

Mary Moloney, Newschannel 6