Potholes & Your Car’s Alignment

It’s March, which means that it’s spring pothole season. Roads are freshly torn up by all of the freeze-thaw that happened during winter. Hitting these potholes can mean more than just spilling your coffee. Here is a quick guide to identify pothole damage and how to avoid it in the future.

Signs That You Have Vehicle Damage From Potholes

Steering Wheel Is Off-Centered

If your steering wheel remains off-centered after hitting a pothole, you may have an alignment problem or damage to the steering column itself. 

Improper alignment can cause premature wear on tires and unnecessary stress to suspension components. It also makes the vehicle harder to control at high speeds, which is a serious safety hazard.

The Steering Wheel Is Shaking

If your steering wheel is shaking after hitting a pothole you’ve thrown off your wheel balance or that a rim or tire has physical damage. 

Out of balanced wheels cause premature wear to the tire along with a reduction in gas mileage and handling quality.

Your Vehicle Pulls To One Side

Another sign of alignment damage is when your vehicle pulls to one side. Again, it is important to get this checked out ASAP to avoid wear on your tires and suspension components.

Your Car Is Riding Rough Or Different Than Usual

Any difference in handling is likely a result of suspension damage. The normal components that would need to be checked here are the shocks, springs, or struts.

Your Car Is Leaking Fluid

If this is happening you definitely want to get your car checked! The pothole you hit could have been big enough to cause you to bottom out and puncture an area on your vehicle’s undercarriage.

Tips To Minimize Pothole Damage

  1. If possible, try to drive around it
  2. At the very least, SLOW DOWN!
  3. Firmly hold on to your steering wheel to avoid losing control

If you feel like your car has been damaged by a pothole, feel free to stop by our service center to get it checked out. The longer you drive with damage to your vehicle, the worse it can get and the more expensive the repair can be. 

Your safety is our #1 priority, and we are always happy to help! Click here to schedule a service appointment today.

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