If you do hit a pothole, take a minute or two, as soon as it is safe to do so, to visually inspect your vehicle and make special note of any damage to the tires. If you see any damage or seem like your vehicle just isn’t driving the way it normally does, visit your local automotive service provider for a quick inspection.
- Your steering will pull to either the right or the left– this is your alignment and is needed for vehicle handling and proper tire use.
- If you feel as if your vehicle is swaying left to right, especially when turning corners, or is bouncing/bottoming out, your suspension may have been compromised. This kind of damage could affect anything from your shocks, struts and ball joints to your steering rack, bearings, seals and tie rods.
- Visually inspect your tires searching for cuts or bulge along the rubber. Try to find bends or cracks in the rims. This kind of damage may seem superficial but could, at higher speeds, cause a blowout.
While their presence can’t be avoided there are a few things you may do that can help your car make it through this unofficial season unharmed.
- Listen– potholes can appear very quickly especially after a rainfall and a short freeze/thaw cycle. Drive the speed limit and don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
- Check your tire pressure. Keeping your tires (all four) at the recommended PSI will help cushion a portion of the impact. Proper PSI will also assist with traction in the event of a sudden stop, like the vehicle in front of you swerving to avoid a pothole.
- Aim to avoid erratic swerving as your sudden movement could cause you to hit another vehicle. Just like you wouldn’t want someone to swerve dangerously in front of you, keep your vehicle under control at all times.
- If hitting a pothole is inevitable, don’t slam on the brakes. You will force the weight of your car FORWARD, and DOWN into the pothole, causing a lot more damage.
How do you know you’ve damaged your vehicle?
Potholes are an inevitable aspect of living in a multi-season environment in which the majority of Canada experiences. For instance, Toronto repairs typically 200,000 potholes a year. Cities with warmer annual temperatures like Vancouver repair typically 32,000 potholes a year. Spring is usually when we see our first crop of these lovely hazards but sometimes they appear sooner especially during milder winters.