Hey, it happens even to the best of us here at Freeman Grapevine. You’re driving along, focusing on the road ahead, and you might not even notice the huge hole in the road…until you drive over it.
Bam, you just hit a pothole. It might have sloshed your coffee, or made your CD player skip. You quietly curse the pothole and you might even shake an angry fist in the rear view mirror, but then you just go about your day. What you might not know is, driving over potholes can cause serious damage to your car.
First off, what exactly is a pothole? Well, as roadways freeze and thaw, some of the water erodes the dirt beneath the surface of the road. Then the asphalt will start to crack and chip away. This leads to small holes in the road, and they will eventually turn into potholes.
How can potholes affect you? Well, you could notice immediate damage via a flat tire or long-term damage could start to affect your alignment and steering. Pothole damage accounts for about 500,000 insurance claims every year, so you should look for any signs of damage as soon as possible.
If you have aluminum rims, they might become bent or warped if you hit too many potholes, and they just can’t withstand the impact that older, steel rims can. If you hit a deep pothole, it could chip away some of the rust proofing on the undercarriage of you car, and you will want to get that repaired as quickly as possible.
The biggest problem will have an effect on your steering and shocks. If you notice that your car starts to pull in one direction or the other when you let go of the steering wheel, your alignment is probably off. If you notice that your drive is becoming a little rougher and you can feel every little bump in the road, those potholes might have messed up your shock springs.
Let me know if you have any funny or nightmarish pothole stories, and I might include them in a future blog post! Of course, if that pothole has left you with any of the issues I mentioned above, then feel free to bring it into Freeman Grapevine so we can take a look.