Potholes are inevitable this time of year. From melting snow to wear and tear on our roads, potholes can sneak up and surprise us when we’re driving. We can avoid hitting that pothole by slowing down and giving ourselves time to react. If you’re like most Minnesota drivers, you know that some potholes are impossible to avoid. If you’ve hit a pothole recently and you’re wondering about potential damage, we’ve got you covered with 6 areas to have checked for damage after hitting a pothole this spring.
The most common sign that your vehicle has sustained some damage from a pothole is a flat tire. If you notice a new flat, it’s definitely a sign that there could be further damage. Your tires can also experience internal damage as potholes can break the interior structure of your tire or tear the tire sidewall. Bulges and bubbles in your tires can indicate interior damage. Whether the damage is visible to the naked eye or showing signs of weakness, take your car into your mechanic to have your tires checked after driving through that pothole.
Your wheels can also bear the brunt of that pothole, especially if your tires are not inflated properly. Your wheels can bend, crack or break after an unexpected run in with that pothole. Repair options for wheels tend to be limited so you are most likely looking at replacing those wheels. Be sure to take your car in for an inspection to determine if your wheels are in working order or need replacing.
Your vehicle’s suspension is designed to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride, but hitting a pothole can damage your suspension making your ride bumpier than usual. If you notice pulling to the right or left, your car moving up and down after a bump in the road, or shaking at high speeds, then your suspension and alignment may need to be looked at. Take your car into your local mechanic to have your suspension and alignment checked on.
Depending on the speed you are traveling plus the depth of the pothole you ran into, your shock absorbers can break on impact. Signs that your shock absorbers have been damaged from that pothole run in are oil leaking and a bouncier ride. You can test this by pushing down on the front corner of your vehicle a few times. If your car bounces two or three times after, it’s a great idea to have your mechanic inspect your shock absorbers.
As you drive over that pothole, your exhaust system can take a beating. Your exhaust system can break loose or bend on impact. If you’ve been noticing strange noises coming from your exhaust system since running over that pothole, it’s a good idea to have your mechanic check it out.
Any Fluid Leakage
Potholes can cause dents to your oil pan and other interior parts. If you notice more leaking fluid than normal after hitting that pothole, ask your mechanic to take a look. Potholes, of any size, can cause damage to your car and affect safety, wear & tear, and a smooth ride. If you’ve hit a pothole recently, plan on making an appointment so we can check these 6 areas of your vehicle, and ensure an enjoyable ride all year long.