This winter brought on a lot of snow, sleet and ice. With these types of conditions the roads worsen, not just when this bad weather is happening but after the bad weather has cleared. The brutal winter has created crater sized potholes that weren’t seen before winter came around. Driving into a pothole puts enormous strain on your tires, wheels, and suspension. The speed you are going and the depth of the road all play a part in the severity of the damage that can be done. Potholes are caused when relentless freezing and thawing of water under the pavement weakens the road and causes large cracks which when combined with the weight of a vehicle driving over eventually turn into potholes.
Any direct hit in a pothole could bring about instant air loss in your tire and this will require your tire to be replaced.
There are different ways to survive these pothole infested roads!
- Slow down and pay attention to road conditions. Some potholes might appear smaller than they are if they are filled with water. You should also keep an eye on the distance between you and the car in front of you. This will give them time to react as well as you if there is a pothole ahead.
- If the impact of the pothole is inevitable try to at least partly slow down and drive straight into the pothole. Turning into the pothole could create more sidewall damage. Also make sure that you have a firm grip on the steering wheel to avoid losing control.
- After encountering a pothole be sure to stop or pull over and check your car for visible signs or wheel or tire damage. Keep in mind that if the front tire hit the pothole than the back tire more than likely did as well.
- Keep tires inflated to the recommended inflation pressure. This is one of the best guards for minimizing pothole damage. Most cars are now equipped with a inflation pressure monitor. Under or overinflated tires can affect a tires resistance to pothole damage.
- A great way of avoiding potholes is to take roads that you know well. When you take the roads you are familiar with then you will know exactly where the potholes are. Also try to drive on well-lit roads when driving at night so that you can see any potholes.
The potholes can damage much more than just your tires, these include:
- Tire puncture, damage or wear
- Wheel rim damage
- Premature wear on shocks and struts
- Suspension damage, including broken components
- Steering system misalignment
- Exhaust system damage
- Engine Damage