Say you hit a pothole straight on. Or maybe you nicked one, just barely. Either way, your vehicle likely sustained some damage. But just how much depends on the pothole’s depth and your speed on impact. Sound like a bummer? It is. Especially since only some vehicle damage – like a flat tire – is apparent. Other kinds, such as minor misalignment or damaged steering or suspension, aren’t always as clear. Yet, these problems can have long-term, lousy effects. Think premature, uneven tire wear. Even costly, too-soon tire replacement.
Daks Toyota technicians are experts in automotive maintenance, vehicle repairs and tire replacement. Our pros will inspect your vehicle during a complete vehicle inspection. Using a trained eye, they’ll catch problems from pothole damage and help repair your ride, pronto.
If you hit a pothole or suspect pothole damage occurred – however minor it seems – bring your car in as soon as possible for inspection. That way, we can identify and correct the negative effects of pothole damage. And help save you from costlier damage to your car’s valuable parts.
There are some signs. When pothole damage occurs.
Tires: If your wheels ram into a pothole, your tire’s sidewall can bulge. Sound like bad news? It is, and it needs a fast fix.
Rims: Unless your car is equipped with older steel rims, they’re likely aluminum-based. That means they’re susceptible to dents. And if the pothole damage comes from a deep depression, hit at high speed? Bent rims may also be on the agenda. That’s where professional technicians at Daks Couriers come in. Correcting the havoc? That’s what we do.
Undercarriage or engine mounting area: Hitting a pothole can dent or puncture the undercarriage of your ride. In other words, fluid leaks and wear leading to rust formation are just the beginning. During a complete vehicle inspection, our technicians will look for woes of all kinds. That includes damage resulting from potholes.
Exhaust System: Are weird noises coming from your exhaust system? Uh-oh. Hitting a pothole may have damaged your ride. Getting a complete vehicle inspection to assess the situation? It’s imperative.
Rust: Even though a scratch on the bottom of a vehicle’s body may not seem much of a concern, it can lead to a certain long term issue: rust. The vehicles body is rust proofed on the exterior, but if some of that rust proofing is scraped away, the vehicle is now vulnerable to the oxidation process that produces rust. Despite the area around the scrape still being protected, rust can still spread, becoming an exponentially larger concern.
Suspension damage: Perhaps the most obvious sign of a problem caused by a pothole occurs in the car’s alignment and shock absorption systems. A car’s suspension system is designed to provide a smoother ride for the driver, primarily by allowing the tires and struts to bounce up and down. When the tire strikes a hole in the road, especially at highway speeds, the entire shock absorption system receives an immediate jolt. Over time, the shock absorbing springs and struts become less resilient, leading to a much rougher ride and less responsive steering.
In order to assess damage to a car’s suspension and shock absorption systems, ask yourself some questions about the car’s behavior. Do you feel a significant amount of swaying whenever you make routine turns? Does the car dive down during braking? Does the car sink in the back when accelerating from a dead stop? Does the car “bottom out” on city streets or bounce excessively on rough roads? All of these symptoms could point to a suspension problem.
Wheel alignment: In a similar vein, the car’s alignment may also be severely affected after months of continuous pothole damage. An alignment problem often gives the driver a sense of wrestling with the steering wheel, since a misaligned car may want to pull to one direction instead of maintaining a straight path. Proper wheel alignment is important for a number of reasons, including the lifespan of the tires and safer handling during emergency maneuvers. A local tire repair shop or mechanic should be able to check the alignment during a scheduled tire rotation.