Driving Safety Tips to Prevent Pothole Damage
As a car owner, you always try to maintain your vehicle to avoid unnecessary repair costs as much as possible. However, that isn’t an easy task. For instance, you accidentally hit a pothole on the road, and the next hour you’re in an auto shop for repair why? Pothole damage
Each year, temperature fluctuations between the deep freeze of winter and the thaw of spring in several parts of the country, pockmark the roads and driveways with potholes (small and big), which can cause significant damage to vehicles.
If you hit a deep pothole with your vehicle, you are very likely to damage the suspension, chassis, tires or rims. Of course, you would wish to avoid hitting any potholes; however, that isn’t always possible.
You must put in place proper measures to keep your car out of a pothole. Otherwise, you’ll be in an auto shop week in, week out.
Signs of Pothole Damage
If you hit an expected pothole, then watch out for these common signs of pothole damage:
1. Strange Noises from Your Car
No one wants to hear weird noises from his or her car. They’re never a good sign. Once you hit a pothole, it could mean that you have broken something in the exhaust system of your vehicle. You should visit an auto shop for car inspection as soon as possible.
2. The Steering Wheel Seems Uneven
If you hit a pothole and your steering wheel seems off-centre, then it very well might be. One you have noticed this issue, your mechanic should check the wheel alignment. On the other hand, it could mean the pothole has damaged a steering component.
3. The Vehicle Pulls To Left or Right
Does your car drift to one side of the road after hitting the pothole? You’re most likely facing an alignment problem, which is common especially after encountering a deep pothole.
4. Shaky Steering Wheel
If your steering wheel starts shaking or vibrating after a pothole collision, you may have damaged the rim or tire. If that isn’t the case, then you will need to check the wheel balance.
5. A Flat Tire
This issue will become apparent once the damage has occurred, but you should never drive on a flat tire. It can lead to more extensive (and costly) damage to the wheel. If you often drive in a particular pothole road, you may need to invest in a set of DriveGuard tires to avoid unnecessary damages to your car.
The good thing with these tires is that you’ll be able to drive up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour), even after complete air pressure loss.
6. The Vehicle Doesn’t Operate the Way It Usually Does
You know how your vehicle functions, especially if you’ve owned it for many years. After all, it’s one of your valuable assets! You are very likely to notice if something feels “different.”
If your car drifts to one side (like we mentioned above), or the ride seems bumpier than normal, trust your instincts and visit a reliable auto shop in Winnipeg such as Canadian Super Shop for a vehicle inspection. Our ASE-certified technicians will expertly diagnose your vehicle and identify whatever issue is plaguing your car.
At Canadian Super Shop, we wouldn’t wish you incur the cost of pothole damages. That is why we recommend the following measures to help you avoid such damages to your vehicle or even loss of control while driving.
1. Inspect Suspension —Ensure that shock absorbers, struts, and other suspension parts are in excellent condition. Uneven tire wear, changes in vehicle handling or too much vibration can signal damaged or worn out components. If you suspect any car problems, visit an auto shop and ask a certified technician to inspect the suspension.
2. Look Ahead — Be vigilant when driving. It’s important to check the road ahead for potholes. If you’re alert, you may have time to avoid or slow down before you hit potholes. Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions inside or outside the car.
You may have to swerve to avoid potholes. But, ALWAYS check the surrounding traffic to make sure it will not cause any collision, or endanger nearby cyclists or pedestrians.
3. Slow Down —It’s possible to find yourself unable to avoid a pothole. If you encounter such situation, reduce your speed safely and use the rearview mirror to check traffic behind you before braking abruptly.
There is a high chance of damage to your suspension components, tires and wheels if you hit a pothole at high speeds.
4. Inspect Tires — Ensure your tires are inflated properly and have adequate treads. A badly worn or under-inflated tire is more likely to suffer damage or allow damage to suspension or wheel when hitting a pothole.
Check your tire pressures regularly and ensure you inflate them to the levels recommended by the manufacturer. You can find the recommended pressures on a sticker on the driver’s doorjamb or in the owner’s manual. Avoid using the pressure levels imprinted on the sidewall of the tire.
5. Check Alignment — Hitting a pothole can ruin wheel alignment and affect the steering. If your car drifts to one side, you’re in trouble. Collision can occur anytime! Ask a qualified technician to check your vehicle wheel alignment and repair it if necessary.
Poor wheel alignment will lead poor fuel economy and high tire wear. It may even result in loss of control in extreme cases.
6. Be Wary of the Puddles — A puddle of water can disguise a deep pothole. Never drive through puddles at high speeds. It will land you in deep trouble. It’s prudent to treat them as if they’re hiding potholes.
7. Recognize Vibrations/Noises— A severe pothole impact can bend or even break suspension components, dislodge the wheel weights, or damage the wheel or tire. If you start noticing any unusual vibrations or sounds after hitting a pothole, take your vehicle to a reliable repair facility immediately for an inspection. A professional will be able to advise you accordingly.
N.B: If the pothole you hit has caused severe damage to your vehicle, document the site, photograph it if it’s safe to do so and report it to local authority or municipality. In some cases, your state, city or county may reimburse your repair costs. However, never try to take a photo of the pothole if there’s traffic nearby that puts you in danger. Your life is important!