When temperatures warm, ice and snow melt, revealing the abusive impact salt has had on the roads. This typically takes the form of one of the worst road menaces known to man – potholes. Aside from being an unsightly nuisance that makes your ride a lot less comfortable, potholes are one of the most destructive forces you will face on the road.
Why are potholes such a problem?
Hitting potholes, especially at high speeds, can result in serious damage to your vehicle components, such as shocks and struts. Shocks and struts are designed to control ride and handling, and serve as a cushion to dampen the bouncing action of the vehicle’s springs. They also control spring and suspension movement to keep the car’s tires in contact with the road, enabling proper steering, stability, and braking. Compromised shocks and struts can impact steering and handling, so it is crucial to be aware of the warning signs that your shocks or struts may need to be replaced:
- Bouncing or sliding sideways on rough or winding roads
- Bottoming out or thumping on bumps
- Swaying or rolling on turns
- Front-end dives when braking or rear end dips when accelerating
- Noticeable puddles under the car or leaking fluids
- Loss of directional control during abrupt stops
Other issues that can result from pothole damage include:
- Steering system problems
- Wheel rim issues
- Tire damage and tire alignment issues
- Suspension problems
- Engine or exhaust system issues
It is a good idea to have your vehicle inspected if you experience any of the above signs. Catching pothole damage issues early can prevent more extensive problems down the road.