Spring is in the air bringing warmer air, beautiful flowers, and yes – those dreaded potholes. Like most Minnesota drivers, spring reminds you to step up the defensive driving as potholes are everywhere. Your action plan may be to avoid potholes altogether this spring, but we all know that sometimes running into potholes is unavoidable. Potholes can cause damage to your vehicle, from your tires to your suspension. So how do you know if that pothole was just a bump in the road or has caused some damage that needs your attention? We’ve got you covered with our 6 warning signs to look out for after hitting a pothole.
A Pothole can Cause a Flat tire
Your tires absorb the impact of driving into a pothole first. The most obvious sign that you may have damage is a flat tire. Be sure to inspect your tires for any damage and get that tire patched or replaced if you find a flat.
Bulging or bubbling tires
While a flat tire is visible to the naked eye, your tire can also sustain internal damage. Left unchecked, this can lead to a tire blowout while driving and a headache for you while waiting for that tow truck. The impact of a pothole can break the interior structure of a tire or tear the sidewall. Bulging and bubbling are the first signs that something is damaged, so if you see this happening make an appointment with your mechanic to get it checked out.
Bent or Broken Wheels after Hitting a Pothole
Falling into a pothole can also impact your wheels, especially if your tires are not inflated properly. Wheels can bend, crack, or break upon impact. Repair options tend to be limited so a broken or bent wheel will need replacing.
Pulling to one side while driving
Your suspension system can also take a hit when you hit that pothole. Suspension parts like your suspension arm or tie rod can be damaged, or the impact can knock your car out of alignment. Some signs that you have suspension and alignment damage include pulling to one side while driving, and shaking when driving at high speeds. If you notice these signs, it’s best to have your mechanic take a look and repair what’s damaged. Extra bouncing after hitting that bump
If your ride feels a little more bouncier than usual after hitting that pothole, your shock absorbers may have been damaged. Shock absorbers can break on impact, and lead to a bouncier riding. Some additional signs to look for include leaking shock absorber fluid, nose diving when stopping, and excessive steering wheel vibrations.
Strange noises coming from your exhaust
One other area that can be damaged after hitting a pothole is your exhaust system. Your exhaust can break loose or bend upon impact. Signs that your exhaust has been damaged include loud noises coming from your exhaust, decreased power and acceleration, and decreased fuel efficiency.
You can avoid hitting that pothole by slowing down and watching for them on the road, these 6 warning signs can help you determine if you sustain any significant damage should you hit one. If you notice any of these warning signs after hitting a pothole, we’re ready to help. Schedule an appointment and our team will inspect and repair any damage.