Potholes can cause havoc with your vehicle – even if you do everything you can to try and avoid driving over them.
Holes in the road occur mostly in the colder months as harsh conditions cause water and moisture to get into the cracks, then expand as it freezes. The holes get bigger as vehicles drive over them, damaging the structure of the road below its surface layer.
The RAC believes “the rise in potholes across the UK has stemmed from many cash-strapped councils’ reactive patch-and-dash approach. This means rather than resurfacing roads properly, potholes are repaired individually in a hurry, and sometimes in wet weather, leading to
The depth of the pothole and the speed at which you hit it are the main factors that can determine the severity of the damage to your vehicle. Below online car parts distributor, PartsinMotion.co.uk, has outlined some common problems caused by holes in the road and its top tips on how to avoid and lessen the damage to your vehicle.
Steering and suspension
Sudden shock from a pothole can knock your suspension system (springs, shock absorbers, control arms). Signs to look out for if there is a problem with the suspension include your car pulling to one side, the handling feeling loose, unusual sounds or tyre wear.
Potholes can cause cracks, bends and chips in your wheel. This means your wheel doesn’t roll smoothly or it can be prevented from forming an airtight seal with the tyre. Check this by seeing if your car pulls to one side or if the steering isn’t as responsive as usual.
These are most susceptible to pothole damage. Problems include punctures, bulges and tread separation due to their alignment being knocked out of position by the pothole, or damage to the rims as a result of a deep hole. It’s recommended that you get your tyres changed as soon as you notice damage to them, so keep an eye out after driving over holes in the roads.
Issues with the undercarriage are mostly cosmetic, but scrapes along your vehicle undercarriage can cause rust, holes or leaks in the exhaust pipes or catalytic converter. You’ll notice this if there’s a lot of noise coming from your exhaust.
What should you do when driving over potholes:
Triple check before making any sudden course changes, looking out for pedestrians and other traffic.
Watch your speed
Avoid hitting potholes at high speeds, the slower the better!
Maintain a safe distance
Make sure you leave plenty of distance between the car in front of you so you can clearly see any potholes – and just in case they break suddenly or swerve rapidly without checking.
Drive over with care
The best thing to do is allow the wheel to roll freely into the hole if you can’t avoid the hole.
Don’t brake unnecessarily
Applying fast pressure to the breaks while driving over a pothole can place more stress on the front suspension.
Get your car checked
If you have driven over a pothole and suspect you have damaged your vehicle, ensure you get it checked out as soon as possible.
PartsinMotion.co.uk offers a wide range of car parts at affordable prices to keep your vehicle in tip top condition. Visit our online spare parts shop to find out more.