Has your commute been bumpier than usual? Well, you’re not alone. Pothole season is upon us (although lately, it seems like an all year occurrence). A quick social poll we ran shows that 89% of our followers are experiencing the same struggle, so you’re not alone.
We can all agree that potholes are one of the most frustrating parts about driving in Canada, and it doesn’t help that they have the potential to cause serious damage to your car. While you may not be able to avoid them, knowing how to protect your vehicle from potential issues is important. So, what can you do to prevent damage to your vehicle?
Most damage is done when you hit the pothole at an irregular angle. While your first instinct may be to swerve, this may potentially lead to damage that could have been otherwise avoided.
If you do hit a pothole, here are key areas you should check out:
1. Tire trouble
After hitting a large pothole, we need to start with the obvious – your tires. The sudden displacement of air that happens when your tire runs over a pothole is enough to cause a complete blowout of its sidewall. We recommend checking your tire pressure monthly to ensure they are properly inflated, which will help to protect them.
Next is your wheels because the sudden impact that happens when you run over a pothole can cause structural damage such as cracks, chips and even bending of your alloy wheels or steel rims. This can lead to a faulty seal between the rim and tire, creating the potential for air leaks and even a fully deflated tire (which nobody wants).
3. Ride control
Although this is third on our list, in some ways ride control is the most important step in checking for damage from those inevitable potholes. Your suspension is designed to absorb impacts and keep your vehicle running smoothly down the road, but there is a limit to how much it can handle. If you encounter an especially large pothole or hit it at just the right angle, your suspension may suffer substantial damage to the shocks and struts or may even break a ball joint. The damage can even misalign your wheels, so you might notice your vehicle pulling in one direction, or strange sounds or vibrations that can lead to potentially uneven tire wear. We like to advise to keep the “shake, rattle and roll” on your radio and not your vehicle suspension system.