How Can Potholes Damage My Vehicle

Most of us have been taught to avoid potholes while driving, but it’s something we can’t avoid forever. So what should you do if you hit a pothole? Don’t ignore it— whether you hit a pothole head-on, or you react in time to partially avoid one, it can damage your vehicle. Two factors will typically affect the magnitude of the damage:

  1. The speed at which you hit the pothole
  2. The depth of the pothole

Eccles Auto Service in Dundas Ontario recommends pulling over to a safe place and checking out the following parts of your car.

Tires

The most immediate concern after hitting a pothole is your tires. This can lead directly to uneven wear and tire damage. A significant enough blow can bend a rim. This can result in a poor seal between the rim and the tire, which can cause air leaks and flat tires.

Power Steering System

If you notice that your vehicle is pulling to the right or left while driving, it’s usually an indication that your vehicle is misaligned. This can increase the cost of operating your vehicle because you will have to replace your tires more frequently and fill gas more often. This condition also affects safety and contributes to driver frustration and fatigue. Alignment issues caused by potholes can also lead to other unpleasant and potentially unsafe problems such as:

  • Vibrations
  • Poor steering
  • Premature or irregular tread wear (even to brand new tires)

Suspension

When your vehicle drives over a pothole, the initial force on the tire is transferred to the parts that make the suspension system (springs, shock absorbers, linkages etc.). Repeated jolts caused by potholes accelerate wear and tear of your suspension, while decreasing its performance. Your vehicle’s suspension system is designed to:

  • Support the vehicle’s weight
  • Absorb and dampen shock
  • Ensure constant tire contact with the road

The effects might not be recognizable at first, but over time, you may notice that your vehicle no longer absorbs bumps like it used to. It might even begin to bounce unstably

Undercarriage & Exhaust

If a pothole is deep enough, and you hit it with enough force, the compression of your suspension can cause your vehicle to make contact with the road surface. The extent of damage could range anywhere from a scratched undercarriage to broken mechanical components. If your exhaust is making strange noises or your car is leaking new fluids, contact Eccles Auto right away and have the issue inspected.

If you feel your vehicle might be damaged from potholes or from any other issues, it’s likely time to bring it into Eccles Auto Service in Dundas. Contact us today to book your inspection.