For many drivers, navigating around potholes is practically second nature. However, while most of us are aware of the need to avoid these road hazards, few understand the extent of the damage they can inflict on our vehicles. Here’s a breakdown of the key components you should be concerned about if you encounter a pothole:

Steering System: Hitting a pothole can knock your steering system out of alignment, leading to symptoms like drifting to one side, uneven tire wear, squealing tires, or a crooked steering wheel. These signs indicate a potential misalignment that requires prompt attention.

Tires: Potholes pose a significant risk to your tires, potentially causing punctures, bulging sidewalls, or accelerated wear. Any visible damage should be promptly addressed to prevent a dangerous blowout on the road.

Rims: Modern vehicles often feature aluminum rims susceptible to dents from hard impacts. Inspect your rims for signs of bending or damage after encountering a severe pothole to avoid further issues.

Undercarriage/Exhaust: Potholes can inflict unseen damage to the undercarriage or exhaust system, leading to fluid leaks or unusual noises. Any abnormalities should be investigated promptly to prevent further complications.

Suspension: Perhaps the most vulnerable component, potholes can wreak havoc on your vehicle’s suspension system, potentially causing damage or breakage to crucial parts like springs or shock absorbers.

Mitigating the Risk:

  • To minimize the risk of damage from potholes, consider the following tips:
  • Slow down when approaching pothole-ridden areas to reduce impact force.
  • Avoid braking while driving over potholes, as this can exacerbate damage.
  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated to provide better cushioning against impact.

By adhering to these precautions, you can reduce the likelihood of costly repairs stemming from encounters with potholes. Stay vigilant and keep your vehicle in optimal condition for safer travels ahead. If you do manage to hit a pothole bring it into Mike Smith Tire & Auto and let our experts take a peek.