Hitting potholes can puncture your tire or bend or crack your wheel. It can damage your tire’s sidewall or the belts. Even a smallish impact may knock your vehicle out of alignment. The potential problems are more than just tire-based. A pothole strike can result in broken shocks or struts, dents or cracks in the body, or harm to other suspension or engine parts. It is important to get your vehicle checked after hitting a pothole. The same should be done if you hit debris or a large object. Some damage will be obvious, like a flat tire, while some may not be visible.

Damage from hitting a pothole

A tire can be damaged by puncture marks present. You may also notice a slow leak from a bent rim. If you see a bulge on the tire sidewall, it is the tread has separated. You may also notice your vehicle pulls to the left or right when you are driving straight. Your wheels are probably out of alignment. Another issue is any vibration in the steering, seat, or floor. This is a symptom of imbalanced tires. You may notice unusual noises, that only happen when you drive. If you come to a stop and the noise goes away, it could be from the tires.

Potholes forming

Potholes will form inevitably. They are formed by extreme cold, heat, and rain. Excess water under roadways increase more cracks in the road over time. If you notice puddles on the road, make sure to try and avoid them. At the very least, be cautious.

Damage from Potholes

Unless the hole is relatively large or you’re going really fast, the pothole strike probably won’t puncture your tire, or damage part of your suspension or engine. But bent wheel rims, internal tire damage, alignment problems, body damage, and shocks and struts issues are common. The steering can get out of alignment when hitting even the smallest of potholes.

Always drive on tires that are properly inflated and in good condition. This will give you the best chance of absorbing the impact safely. Also remember to slow down when you are on an unfamiliar or rough road, and avoid distracted driving. Be alert to what’s ahead, and make sure you keep enough distance between you and the vehicle in front so you can see what is coming.

Know what traffic is around you. Swerving to avoid a pothole can be dangerous at highway speed. Use good judgment and always be conscious of those around you. Recognize that though you miss the first pothole, there may be another ahead.