Worried about potential pothole damage to your car? Unfortunately, pothole damage is just one of the joys that come with living in and around Houston, aka pothole center of the universe. We’ve all been there: You’re driving along the road while thinking about breakfast tacos, only to have your daydream rudely interrupted by a vicious jolt.
While addressing pothole damage to your car won’t top anyone’s list of favorite things to do, it’s a worthwhile practice that may help you from experiencing additional issues. So, keep the following suggestions in mind the next pothole season comes around and you happen to drive over a pothole.
How to tell if a pothole damaged your car
When you have recently run over a pothole, it is wise to inspect your car for damage. If you can, find a safe place to pull over and check the car as soon as possible. Some types of damage might not be immediately visible, but you can check for a flat tire, damage to your wheels, and damage to the frame of your car.
Again, only if you’re in a safe place, consider taking pictures of the pothole and the pothole damage to your car. Note the time of day, the location of the pothole, and any other extenuating circumstances that contributed to your hitting the pothole (such as weather or traffic).
What damage can potholes do to your car?
Can potholes cause frame damage? Do potholes damage shock absorbers? Can potholes mess up your suspension? These are just some of the many questions we hear at Colony One Auto regarding pothole damage to cars. But at the end of the day, most questions can be placed into one of a few categories. So, let’s address the top three types of pothole car damage.
1. Pothole damage to your car’s tires and wheels
The extent to which your car can be damaged by a pothole often depends on the depth of the pothole and the speed at which you were traveling when you hit the pothole. This fact holds especially true when it comes to tire damage and tire wear. Note that your tires are more likely to get damaged when they are “exiting” the pothole as opposed to when they fall into the hole.
The following types of tire pothole damage to your car:
- Flat tire
- Loss of air pressure/leak
- Damage to the tire’s sidewall
- Bent rims
- Loss of hubcaps
- Cracks or breaks in the wheel
2. Pothole damage to your car’s frame and parts
If the pothole is deep enough, the frame of your car may slam into the road and incur damage. These damages can include typical scratches and dents, especially to your bumpers. However, this type of damage can extend to a damaged undercarriage as well. In particular, you should keep an eye out for damage to your exhaust system. The exhaust pipes, muffler, and catalytic converter may all suffer from an impact with a pothole.
3. Pothole damage to your car’s suspension and alignment
Pothole damage to car suspension is common, but it is also often harder to spot and fix than the aforementioned types of damage. A car’s healthy shock absorbers should be able to handle a good deal of pressure, but if your shock absorbers have seen better days, a bad run-in (or frequent small run-ins) with a pothole can create problems.
When a pothole damages your car’s suspension and throws off your car’s alignment, you may notice that your car begins pulling to one side, that your tires wear unevenly, steering issues, and vibrations.
Involved in a pothole accident? Report a pothole.
If you recently ran over a bad pothole or were involved in a pothole accident, you may be surprised to learn that Houston actually has a government-run initiative to take care of potholes. Check to see if your pothole actually qualifies as a pothole and then contact the Houston Pothole Tracker by calling 311 or reporting the pothole online.
Repairing pothole damage to a car
Looking to repair pothole damage to your car? Colony One Auto Center has provided auto service to Sugar Land, Stafford, and the rest of the Greater Houston area since 1991. We are the go-to shop for high-quality, reliable, and trusted car maintenance and repair and are always happy to answer your questions, including tire alignment questions.
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