pothole

Spring is in the air, and with spring comes melting snow, fresh flowers, and getting outdoors to enjoy the weather. One not-so-nice element of spring is those dreaded potholes. If you’ve lived in Minnesota for any length of time, you’ve hit a pothole or two. Those spring potholes are not only a hazard on the roadway, but can also be a hazard for your car. If you’ve been wondering what kind of damage those potholes can cause to your car, then keep reading for four ways potholes can damage your car this spring.

Tires and Wheels

The most common, and easy-to-see damage to your car after driving through a pothole is your tires. Your tires absorb the impact of a pothole first which is why a thorough inspection of your tires is essential after hitting that pesky pothole. Plan on looking for any flat tires first, and then for any signs of internal damage like bulging or bubbles. The impact of potholes can break your tires’ interior structure or tear the sidewall of your tire. If these are left unaddressed, they can result in a blowout while you’re driving around town.

In addition to your tires, make sure you check for any damage to your wheels. When your tires are not inflated properly, a pothole can wreak havoc on your wheels by bending, breaking, or cracking your them. Since repair options for wheels are often limited, you may be looking at replacing them if you notice any damage.

Pothole damage to Suspension System

Your suspension system is designed to take the impact of rough roads, but can be subject to damage from the vertical and horizontal force on your car when driving through a pothole. If your suspension system gets damaged or out of alignment, it can cause your tires to wear quickly or unevenly. Some signs of a damaged suspension system include pulling to one side while driving, shaking when driving at high speeds, and extra bouncing when you hit a bump in the road. Asking your mechanic to take a peek under the hood to check your suspension is always a good idea after hitting a pothole.

Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers can break on impact when falling into a pothole. One sign of damaged shock absorbers is oil leaking. You can also test your shock absorbers by pushing down on the front corner of your car. If your car bounces 2-3 times, it may mean your shock absorbers were damaged. In either case, it’s best to have your mechanic check and repair any damage.

Exhaust System

Your exhaust system can also be damaged when driving through that unexpected pothole. Upon impact, your exhaust can break loose or bend which can cause issues. One big sign that your exhaust system needs some TLC is strange noises. If you’ve noticed any strange noises coming from your exhaust – especially after driving through a pothole, be sure to make an appointment and have your mechanic check it out.

With pothole season upon us, it’s always a good time to review the damage a pothole can cause and get your vehicle in for a maintenance check if you’ve recently run into one. If you’re ready to gain peace of mind after that pothole run-in, we’re ready to help. Simply make an appointment and our team will get you back on the road in no time.