HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN A POTHOLE CAUSE?

March 28th, 2018 by

Nothing will make your heart beat faster than when you hit a pothole! You turn down the radio volume, pay extra attention to the road, and pray that you haven’t caused serious damage. Potholes are a nuisance on the road and can cause a lot of damage. In fact, they cause billions of dollars for repairs across the United States and in worst-case scenarios have even caused highway deaths. You may not think that the little hole in the road should be completely avoided. We’ll answer how much damage a pothole can cause to your vehicle.

Potholes are often seen during the spring more so than the winter season. They are formed when the soil beneath the pavements becomes displaced or weakened by winter weather elements. Potholes generally start small and grow as traffic hits them causing deformities in the pavement, cracks, and the road chipping away. Potholes then become large enough to damage your vehicle.

The most common and immediate damage happens to your tires. Hitting potholes can cause uneven wear on the tires. If you happen to hit one at the right speed and angle, you can even bend the rim. When this happens, the seal between the rim and tire will cause air to leak.

Alignment issues can also occur which will result in poor steering or vibrations while driving. When your car or truck becomes misaligned, you will start to notice your vehicle pulling to one side. Your car or truck’s suspension is designed to absorb impact, but hitting a pothole can really cause serious damage because the suspension can only handle so much. In addition to alignment issues, you can have broken ball joints or damaged shocks.

If you drive over a deep pothole, you can cause vehicular damage underneath your car and even to the exhaust pipes. This happens because your vehicle can actually make contact with the road. If you’re lucky, you’ll only have a scratched undercarriage. Unfortunately, you can also have broken mechanical components. In addition to damaging the exhaust pipes, you can also rip a hole in the muffler or catalytic converter.

Try your best to avoid potholes on the road. If you can’t avoid them while driving, slow down significantly before you hit it. Be sure to brake before hitting it because waiting until you’re driving directly over it can cause more damage to your car or truck. Hold the steering wheel tightly so you avoid losing control and driving into oncoming traffic. When it’s raining in Austin, be careful as you drive over puddles because there could be a pothole hiding underneath waiting to wreak havoc on your ride.

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