Now that spring is around the corner, every driver should be actively avoiding potholes forming in the roads across Britain. As the ice and snow melt away, the base layer of a road is disturbed and the surface in certain areas is weakened. Because of this, potholes are abundant and you can only avoid them for so long.
If you drive over a particularly bad pothole, you should check the tyres and wheels of your car and be aware of any changes in the car’s handling characteristics. This is the safest way to ensure your car hasn’t been excessively damaged by a pothole.
Tyres are the only component of a car that is designed to be in contact with the road. It’s therefore no surprise that they are done considerable damage by potholes. You can check your tyres for damage using a jack to lift each wheel from the ground. Once the car is steadily jacked up, inspect each tyre for sidewall bulges, tread separation and flats. To help prevent these issues, always ensure that your tyres are properly inflated.
If a pothole is large – or shaped in such a way that the wheel rim comes into contact with the road – then this can spell trouble for both the wheel and the tyre. A bent wheel rim – whether it’s an alloy or a steel wheel – can lead to tyre blowouts. If a rim is bent or cracked so much that it can’t form an airtight seal, then any further potholes will cause the tyre to fail completely. This can be a fatal mistake that must be avoided at all costs. Make a visual inspection of your wheel rims if you suspect damage after a pothole strike.
A variety of suspension problems can arise from pothole damage. If your car begins to handle strangely, contact a garage and book and appointment with a professional mechanic. Your car could be suffering from broken ball joints, misalignment and damaged shocks or struts. If you experience loose handling, steering pull or notice your tyres wearing unevenly, these are sure signs of suspension problems.
A car’s exhaust is fixed to the undercarriage of the vehicle and is thus prone to a few knocks and dings. Potholes do take their toll, however, especially on lowered cars. If a car bottoms-out in a pothole, there’s sure to be some damage. You may experience a loss of power if your exhaust develops a hole in it, but worse than that – your car might emit more noxious gases than usual, which is unsafe for you and passing pedestrians. Stay safe and have your car inspected if you suspect that your exhaust is faulty.
Universal Tyres is the region’s premier independent tyre distributors and autocentres. Family owned and operated since 1923, our company has grown in size and reputation to meet the demands of modern drivers throughout London, Essex and South East England. We’re proud to offer everything from a basic service and MOT test to full tyre replacement and repairs for all makes and models of vehicles. For your convenience, we even offer mobile tyre fitting where our technicians come to you. Contact us today to book your next appointment.