Winter in Tulsa isn’t always an easy ride. So far, it’s been rather treacherous which has made travel more difficult and stressful. Thus, more accidents are happening and cars are being damaged in the process. Your car may already have a problem you’re not aware of, even if you haven’t had an accident.
Potholes are a common reason for cars being damaged on the roads and when there’s snow covering the roads, you are likely hitting these potholes because you can’t see them. If you’re unsure if your own car may have damage from potholes, consider these five different ways that could be a problem caused by potholes.
1. The Tires – Your car’s tires are the first thing to encounter the pothole and therefore, the first thing to check. Some potholes can cause flat tires so when you accidentally hit a pothole, pay attention to your car and pull over if possible to check it out. Look for a slow-leaking puncture or bulging in the sidewall.
2. Bent Rims – Your rims also take a beating when you hit a pothole. The year of your car could make a difference; many new cars have aluminum-based rims and older cars have steel rims. If you hit the pothole rather hard then it could definitely bend your tire rim. Inspect for any damage to the rim and also inside the lip of the wheel.
3. Altered Driving – If your car isn’t driving correctly after you hit a pothole, for instance it’s ‘swaying’ or feels like you’re ‘bottoming out’ when hitting a bump, it could indicate an issue with your struts or shocks. These absorb the impact (bounce) when you’re driving so when you hit a pothole for the first time you’re not likely to feel much. However, the more potholes you hit the faster your struts and shocks can wear down. Keep these maintained and they’ll last a lot longer and obviously, avoid potholes at all costs.
4. Undercarriage Damage – While it’s very important to check your tires after hitting a pothole, many don’t consider the damage to the undercarriage. A quick glance may not reveal any problems but there could easily be a leak or tear somewhere underneath. If the pothole was rather significant in size, you might consider letting your auto technician take a look just to be sure there aren’t any issues that might arise in the nearby future.
5. Noises – Obviously, when your car decides to make a funny noise of any kind, you likely take it to your auto repair mechanic. Unfortunately, hitting a pothole can do damage to more than just the tires; it can cause odd noises if it damages something else. For instance, if it nicked your exhaust you’ll need to have it repaired.
The bottom line is that potholes aren’t good for your car and can cause unnoticeable damage. While a flat tire or odd noise is very obvious, small leaks or other slight damage may not make an appearance right away. Take your car to RC Auto Specialists, your Tulsa auto repair shop and have it inspected when you hit a pothole to save time, money and frustration later on.