Schedule Service

It seems like after every winter, the road is plagued with potholes as though it’s become a reflection of the moon’s surface. No matter where you live, potholes are a force to be reckoned with, and especially so if you’re concerned about the well being of your car. I can’t say how many times I’ve had to have rims replaced in my life because of pothole damage. It becomes a norm to watch drivers swerving around the lane to try and avoid the unsightly craters in your path. Today we’re going to talk about how potholes form, some facts about them, and what to look for when it comes to keeping your car in top notch condition.

How Potholes Are Created:

Potholes are road imperfections that occur when earth compacted under pavement becomes weakened or displaced. There are a variety of ways that pavements crack, break, and split apart; rapidly changing hot and cold temperatures, the freezing and thawing of water and snow, the change of seasons, but also general wear and tear over time of the pavement.

How Potholes Cause Problems:

It is estimated that the average pothole repair can cost up to $377.00.  Potholes are not limited to snowier regions of the country; they are also common in warmer climates such as Arizona and California.  Areas with the most pothole damage are roadways where water drainage is poor, busier roadways commonly traveled, and also roadways which are poorly maintained.

Areas Potholes Affect On Your Car:

Tires- Tires are susceptible to sidewall bulges, tread separation, and flats from pothole damage.  This can happen when your tires rub against a sharp edge from pothole impact. Flats can usually be repaired at minimal cost, but bulges and other damage to your tires require a replacement immediately.

Wheels- The rough impact your car receives upon driving over a pothole can cause serious damage to your rims.  They can bend and then they won’t form an airtight seal to the tire. This will cause a slow leak and rough ride. You will need to get your rims replaced if this happens.

Suspension- The suspension absorbs impacts while you drive and provides smooth travels. But, your suspension can only endure so much. Sudden hits against potholes can cause a variety of suspension problems, including misalignment, broken ball joints, and damaged shocks or struts. It can be difficult to determine suspension damage, so the best recommendation is to have your car inspected by a technician you trust.

Exhaust- Exhaust pipes run underneath your vehicle.  Deep potholes can cause a car to bottom out and scrape the undercarriage against the pavement, potentially denting or ripping a hole in the exhaust pipes, muffler, or catalytic converter. These can all be costly repairs.

Body- The lower your car is to the ground, the more likely you’re to have damage caused to your bumpers from potholes scraping against them. Even though this damage is mostly cosmetic, it can affect your resale value if not taken care of.  Nobody likes to look at body damage—it’s a sight for sore eyes!

Most pothole damage, fortunately, can be easily avoided because the normal pothole isn’t big enough to do major damage to your vehicle.  However, there are always exceptions; I mean have you been to broad ripple lately? Also the Walmart over by Keystone had a major pothole for a while that took several weeks to be repaired.  When I say major, I mean drastically explosive interrupting traffic a great deal major! But I digress, the major point of this blog is just to caution you about navigating your way through pothole season—and urge you—to be careful with your car! Now that you know what damage can be done from a simple hole in the road, you better take these words to heart and drive safely.