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What Kind of Damage Can Potholes Do?

Potholes are not just a pain in the seat, they can really damage your vehicle too, even parts of your car you wouldn't expect.

Roads are most likely to form potholes in the spring and winter due to ice and running water wreaking havoc on the base layers underneath the pavement.

Potholes occur when the soil beneath the pavement gets displaced or weakened. As traffic drives over the weaker spots the pavement cracks and leaves a hole in the road surface. Potholes start out small but can grow into huge car eating monsters.

After hitting a pothole, the first thing to check are the tires & wheels. Potholes can cause major damage to tires such as sidewall bulges, flats or tread separation. This is caused by the hard edges left surrounding the pothole which can slice the rubber and then suddenly it's deflate gate.

Wheels are susceptible to cracks, bends and chips on contact with a pothole. A bent wheel might lose its airtight seal, or won't roll correctly. Chips are easy to spot, but cracks can be nearly invisible especially if there is a lot of brake dust around. Bent wheels can be fixed sometimes, but wheels with cracks or chips can fail and must be replaced.

Your car's suspension absorbs impact for a smoother ride, but jarring, sharp hits from a pothole can cause misalignment, damaged struts or shocks and broken ball joints. No one wants that.

Exhaust pipes are a perfect target for potholes because they run along the vehicle's undercarriage so a deep pothole can cause your car to bottom out and potentially dent or rip holes in it. You also want to check the muffler and catalytic converter as well for tears and scrapes.

Potholes can damage the car's body, especially a low riding car. This damage is mostly cosmetic with bruised bumpers or side skirts.

Most potholes are harmless, especially if your tires are correctly inflated and your suspension is aligned, you can roll right over them.

So If you need a wheel alignment or suspension repair, give Rix Automotive a call today!