Potholes are not just a winter driving hazard. More of them may actually appear in spring as the freeze-thaw cycle draws to a close and loosened paving surfaces wash away with spring rains, snow melt, wind and heavier traffic. And even those little ones have the potential to cause serious problems for your car.
When you take care to avoid potholes, you take effective measures to prevent:
It’s tempting to think that if your tire doesn’t get stuck in a pothole, it suffered no damage. While the edges of potholes are unlikely to puncture your tire, the blunt force of hitting significantly uneven surfaces can weaken the tire walls. As a result, your tires may bulge or blister. These deformations in the wall leave your tires more vulnerable to puncture by other objects and introduce balance problems, which can negatively affect your braking performance and fuel efficiency.
Damage to the Undercarriage
Driving over deep potholes can cause the undercarriage of your vehicle to scrape against the road surface. That, in turn, can lead to a slew of maintenance issues, such as fluid leaks and accelerated corrosion.
When you think about the physics of driving over potholes, you realize that a tire that travels in and out of a hole actually travels farther than the others. But you likely didn’t notice that it took any longer, so what happened? Your car may have minutely stretched. But since cars are not elastic, that stretching “sticks,” which means your wheel alignment is now off. If not corrected, misaligned wheels can also lead to uneven tire wear and loss of steering control, both potential safety issues.
Loss of Steering Control
The sudden direction changes your tire experiences when going over a pothole (down rather than forward) can lead to the wheel turning unexpectedly. This type of loss of steering control is especially common if you didn’t see a pothole, so you didn’t brace yourself/the steering wheel accordingly.
As you can see, avoiding potholes is about more than just avoiding coffee spills. All told, careful driving that minimizes pothole bumps can:
Spare you significant repair expense
No early tire replacements, wheel alignments or fluid leaks to fix…just routine maintenance when it’s scheduled.
Prevent accident and injury
Your ability to control your vehicle at all times is essential to maintaining safe roads.
If you think that maybe you’ve been a little careless when it comes to potholes, Quanz Auto Body can help. We offer laser wheel alignment that restores your vehicle to manufacturer specifications as well as comprehensive vehicle maintenance and repair. Although no appointment is necessary, you may contact us to schedule an inspection and free estimate at our Westside Albuquerque location.