Dealing with Pothole Damage
March 6, 2017
As we come out of the wet, snowy, wild winder we’ve had, there is a scourge of potholes all over the Portland/Beaverton metro area. You’re driving along and… wham!
When you hit potholes, you can cause a lot of damage not just to your tires, but can lead to a misalignment, bent tire rims and worse. It’s critical that when you get whacked by a pothole to inspect things as soon as possible, rather than assuming that since you made it to your destination OK, without any problems.
Here are some of the things you should look for…
- Tire puncture, damage or wear
- Wheel rim damage
- Premature wear on shocks and struts
- Suspension damage, including broken components
- Steering system misalignment
- Exhaust system damage
- Engine damage
If your car is handling differently or making new sounds, it’s wise to get it checked out with your mechanic or if there’s visible damage, your body shop.
Here are other signs that you may have a problem on your hands…
- Tires: If your wheels ram into a pothole, your tire’s sidewall can bulge.
- Rims: Newer cars and wheels have aluminum-based rims which are more prone to dents. If you hit a deep hole and/or at high speed, this is a likely outcome.
- Undercarriage: Often times the underside of your car will hit the surface of the street – hard. You might have sustained a leak or broken through already rusted areas. Keep an eye for puddles and rust chips.
- Exhaust System: If you’re hearing a new song from your car’s exhaust system – new noises or rattling, there’s a good chance you’ve got damage.
Is there anything you can do to avoid pothole damage?
Well, actually, there is. Don’t follow the vehicle in front of you too closely. You shouldn’t anyway, but when you’re close, you’ll never give yourself a chance to spot a pothole until it’s too late.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Low tires provide less cushion, so it’s more likely rims will hit the edge of a hole.
Try to avoid areas of heavy road construction. The large equipment in these areas wreak havoc on street surfaces, if they’re not already digging holes in the road as part of their project.
And finally, when it’s wet out, try to avoid puddles. You can’t see below the surface, so you can get yourself into trouble in a hurry.
The material contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and is based on sources believed to be reliable and authoritative. However, this information has not been independently verified by us. This newsletter should not be construed as offering professional advice.
FREE loaner cars, estimates and deductible assistance are available, please call 503.469.8389 for details.