Driving is always paired with certain hazards of the road, but one of the most frustrating is potholes. These divots in the road can cause damage to your car that is not always visually apparent. Often strange car problems and odd damage patterns are a result of potholes. Obvious signs that you have hit a pothole are bent tire rims, tire sidewalls that are bulging outward, and exhaust pipes that rattle and shake. There are plenty of other signs your car may have been damaged by a pothole which we will cover below.
How To Tell If Your Car Was Damaged By A Pothole
It is always important to repair your car if it was damaged by a pothole as soon as possible. This will help to prevent more expensive car problems in the future.
Your Sidewalls Bulge
If you notice bubbles or bulges in the sidewalls of your tire, chances are potholes are the cause. Hitting a pothole can cause damage to your tire’s inner liner which allows air to escape. The bubbles or bumps you see is the air that has escaped from the inner liner of your tire. This is extremely dangerous as it puts your tire at risk for a blowout which can lead to losing control of your car if it happens while you are on the road.
Noise From The Exhaust Pipes
Sometimes potholes are small enough that you may not notice that you have hit one. Your car, on the other hand, might be calling for help, literally. If you notice that your exhaust pipes are making strange sounds or rattling when you drive, chances are they have been damaged by a sneaky pothole. The best way to assess and correct the problem is by taking your car to a mechanic for a full inspection.
Your Car Pulls To One Side
If you notice that your car drifts to the left or the right when you are driving straight, chances are that your tires have been knocked out of alignment. This is a common sign of pothole damage that has a simple remedy. Your steering system may be off-center, which is another sign of wheel misalignment. If the wheels are your car are not aligned, it can lead to poor gas mileage, uneven treads on your tires, and other safety issues.
Potholes often have sharp edges that can puncture even the thickest of tires. They can cause your tire to run flat, which can be a serious problem if you happen to be in the middle of the road. Sometimes the puncture will cause a slow leak that you don’t notice until you have been parked for a while, other times, the puncture will cause an instant flat tire. In either case, you will need to change your tire as soon as possible.
Tire rims are made to withstand a lot of abuse, but a deep pothole can still cause serious damage. When a car hits a pothole at a certain angle or at a specific speed, it can bend. A bent rim is more cosmetic than harmful. However, there is most likely more pothole damage to your car that is left unseen.
Damaged Struts & Shocks
Potholes are notorious for damaging and putting wear and tear on car struts and shocks. These are essential parts of your car that help to control how the vehicle handles and rides. They absorb shock and help to control the suspension movement of your vehicle. If you notice that you have to expend more energy into controlling your car when you drive, chances are potholes have struck again. If you notice trouble steering or controlling your car, it is important to get your shocks and struts repaired immediately.
Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE
Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.