We’ve had a decent amount of snow this winter and the roads in our area are showing the effects. Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of water after it has entered into the ground under the pavement. As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the pavement weaken, which causes the material to break down from the weight, creating the pothole.
Potholes can puncture your tire, causing an immediate flat tire. Potholes can bend or crack your wheel. A bent or cracked wheel can cause a flat tire or cause a heavy vibration. Potholes can damage your tire's sidewall or belts. Even a minor impact may knock your vehicle out of alignment. A pothole strike can also damage your shocks or struts, or harm your suspension.
When your car's wheels aren't properly aligned it can cause your tires to wear very quickly or unevenly. You may even notice that your steering wheel may pull to one direction or another. Your steering wheel may not be centered and when not centered the wheels may not be centered.
It’s imperative that you take the proper precautions to keep your car out of harm’s way. Obviously, your best course of action is to avoid hitting any potholes; however, that’s not always possible. Keep these seven tip in mind to help minimize vehicle damage:
*Slow Down - The faster you’re driving when you hit a pothole, the worse the damage is likely to be.
*Give Some Space - Should the car in front of you fail to avoid a pothole, you’ll get yourself the time to react and avoid the same fate if you leave a good deal of space between you and the other driver.
*Prepare For Puddles - When you see a puddle in the middle of the road, it’s impossible to know how deep that crater will be, so be very cautious.
*Hold Tight - Potholes can cause a violent jolt to your car, so it’s very important that you have a solid grip on the steering wheel. Otherwise, your car can veer into the next lane or you can lose control entirely.
*Don’t Brake - You’ll want to avoid braking as you hit a pothole because doing so can actually cause more damage.
*Keep your Tires Full - Properly inflated tires will give your car added protection from potholes.
*Inspect Tire - Inspect the tire by looking at the DOT Number, a four-digit number that stands for the week and the year the tires were made.
If you do find your way into a pothole and feel a change in the driveability of your car, give the car care experts at Charles Automotive & Tire a call and we’ll be happy to inspect your wheels, tires, suspension and perform an alignment if needed.
Be Careful Out On The Roads, Spring Will Be Here Soon!