Car damage from potholes is extremely common during the fall in Atlanta. You’ll want to regularly inspect your tires for bulges, suspension problems, and body damage after driving over a particularly nasty pothole.
You may encounter dozens of potholes on your way to work every day, and you can only avoid them for so long. You are bound to hit one eventually, and that can seriously damage your vehicle.
How Potholes Form
Potholes are basically road imperfections that occur when soil that is compacted underneath pavement gets displaced or weakened. Roads tend to form potholes in winter and spring, when ice and running water being to disrupt the pavement’s base layers. As more and more cars drive over such weak spots, the pavement will start to deform, crack and chip away, leaving a hole in its wake. Potholes start off fairly small, but will grow as more and more traffic hits them, until they get deep enough and large enough to damage a car or truck.
Common Car Parts to Get Damaged by Potholes
- Tires: Tires are literally where the rubber meets the road, so pothole damage is very common, forming sidewall bulges, flats and tread separation. This is because potholes have a hard edge that can compress the tire against the wheel during an impact, snapping the belts or slicing the rubber. Vehicles with low-profile tires are especially prone to pothole damage. Make sure your tires are always properly inflated to help avoid the above issues.
- Wheels: Hard pothole angles tend to apply impact force to wheels, which leads to bends, chips, and cracks. A bent wheel doesn’t roll smoothly and can’t form an airtight seal with the tire. You’ll know you have a chip because they resemble a chunk that’s missing from the rim where it joins the tire. Cracks can show themselves in subtle hairline fractures around the wheel circumference or within a spoke.
- Suspension: Your car’s suspension system is meant to absorb impacts and give you a smooth ride, but it can only handle so much. Jarring, sudden hits against potholes can result in misalignment, broken ball joints, and damaged struts or shocks.
- Exhaust: Your exhaust pipes run along the car’s undercarriage, an unfortunate target for potholes. Deep ones can even cause your car to bottom out and then scrape against the pavement. This will dent or rip a hole in the muffler, exhaust pipes or catalytic converter.
- Body: Potholes can scrape up against low-hanging side skirts or bumpers in low-riders. Typically, this type of damage is cosmetic and won’t affect safety or performance, but if the appearance of your vehicle is a high priority for you, you will need to ensure the utmost proper handling of your car.
Thankfully, most potholes aren’t deep enough or big enough to pose a threat to your vehicle. You can combat possible damage from potholes by making sure your tires are properly inflated and your suspension correctly aligned, your vehicle should take most moderate potholes in stride. Just be sure to stay alert on the roadways and avoid them the best you can.
Contact I&I Tires
Pothole got you stranded on the side of the road? Schedule your mobile tire inspection, replacement or repair with us today at 678-403-8029.