As the end of winter meets the beginning of spring, potholes sprout up on both major and minor roadways across Oregon and beyond. Some are large and easy to spot from the driver’s seat, while others can be small but surprisingly deep. Regardless, pothole damage can result from either type and sometimes requires repairs. To illustrate just how dangerous potholes can be for your car, Main Auto Body, Inc. outlines some of the most common issues they cause.
How Do Potholes Occur?
Seasonal temperature changes are the main culprits behind the formation of potholes. As winter’s ice and snow melt during warm spells, water seeps down into the asphalt on roads. When it freezes again, the expansion of this water can create weak spots in the road, paving the way for divots to develop when cars drive over them. Areas with higher amounts of precipitation or more traffic especially can anticipate encountering these pesky nuisances as the seasons change.
Common Types of Pothole Damage
Since first learning to drive, one of the biggest rules of thumb on the road is to avoid potholes whenever possible. That’s largely because pothole damage can take a toll on your vehicle, with the most common issues including:
- Tire Damage
Depending on your speed and the amount of impact your car experiences, the sidewall of one or more of your tires could blow out. After driving over a pothole, always be sure to check your tires for any bulges to prevent a blowout before it occurs. When sidewall blowouts do occur, total tire replacements are often the only solution.
Driving over potholes can also cause your tires to lose air. In these cases, your car’s tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) signal will light up, meaning it’s time to pump more air into them.
- Wheel and Rim Damage
Thanks to the harsh, steep angles many potholes have, driving over one can cause damage to your wheels or rims. To check your car for any related issues, keep an eye out for any bends or cracks where the rim of your wheel meets your tires. If a pothole bends your rim, it will no longer roll smoothly, and the seal between your tire and wheel can also be impacted.
- Suspension and Steering Issues
When your wheel dips suddenly into a pothole, your car’s alignment may be affected. Specifically, this impact can bend one or more pieces of your suspension or steering components, making your car pull to the side as you drive. It can also cause your tires to wear unevenly, resulting in premature tire replacements.
If you notice that your car is drifting towards the left or right, it may need an alignment. In these cases, make sure to get it serviced by Main Auto Body, Inc. as soon as possible. This will help to keep you safe on the road and ensure that your tires last as long as they’re intended.
Don’t Wait to Repair Pothole Damage
Since the consequences of driving over potholes can be serious, drivers need to get their cars checked out whenever damage occurs. When your car needs an alignment or other services after hitting a pothole, call Main Auto Body, Inc. at 541-926-0073 to make an appointment at one of our nine Oregon locations. If your car is unsafe to drive, we also offer towing services 24 hours per day.