We’ve gotten through the winter, so it’s time to see if your car has any damages from driving over some newly formed potholes. In a perfect world, we’d all have time to slow down and avoid a pothole, but many times, that isn’t the case. Here are some common damages that occur from potholes along with some signs that your car has sustained damage.
It’s certainly possible to get a flat tire from driving over a pothole too fast, and your tire warning light will come on if that’s the case. Even if you don’t get a flat tire from a pothole, hitting one can still damage your tires. If the side of the tire is bulging, that means there’s internal damage, and you’ll need to get the tire replaced.
When your wheels hit something with heavy impact, they can become misaligned. This is a common problem with hitting potholes, but the signs that your wheels are misaligned can vary. Typically, if your wheels aren’t aligned, you’ll experience vibrations when driving, a shaky steering wheel, or pulling to one side when the wheel is straight.
The purpose of your suspension is to absorb the impact of bumps in the road—if you hit a pothole at high speed, it can rock your suspension. Signs of a damaged suspension include clunking noises, vibrations when driving, a very bumpy ride, and uneven tire wear.
Because exhaust pipes hang low under your car, they can be easily damaged when driving over a deep pothole. If any parts of the exhaust system are broken, you may experience slow acceleration, smell gasoline, or hear banging/knocking sounds. If any parts of the exhaust system are punctured, which results in an exhaust leak, bring your car to a mechanic so they can repair or replace the part. A dented exhaust pipe that goes untreated can also result in rust formation, so it’s best to bring your car in for an inspection even if the dent is small.
Hitting a pothole at high speed and at the right angel can bend or twist your wheel rims, which affects the car’s handling. These damages will be easy to see, so inspect the rims after a hard impact with a pothole.
If your vehicle has sustained any damages from this or past pothole seasons, make an appointment with Auto Works. We’re The Place Your Neighbors Trust!