What Damage Can Potholes Cause To Your Car?
As a car owner, hitting potholes on the road can be a nightmare. Not only can they cause a rough ride, but they can also lead to significant damage to your vehicle. Potholes are a common occurrence on roads, and they have the potential to cause damage to the tyres, wheels, and suspension of your car.
Repairing these damages can be costly, especially if you don’t have the right insurance coverage. In this blog, we will discuss the damage that potholes can cause to your new car.
1. Potholes Can Cause Flat Tyres
It is important to note that flat tyres are an inconvenience and can cause frustration and even danger. Among the factors that contribute to flat tyres, one of the most prevalent is potholes, which can be found in a variety of locations, from busy highways to quiet residential streets.
It is essential to be mindful and alert when driving, particularly when navigating roads with potholes. Not only are they a common cause of flat tyres, but they can also damage the wheels, alignment, and even the suspension of a car. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid them as much as possible.
In the event that a pothole does cause a flat tyre, it is imperative to address the issue immediately. Continuing to drive on a flat tyre can cause further damage to the wheel and might require more extensive repairs or even replacement, which can be costly. See our article on How to keep your brand new car tyres in the best condition if you do have to get new tyres.
To prevent flat tyres caused by potholes, it is best to take care of the tyres regularly. This includes checking tyre pressure, tread depth, and ensuring that they are in good condition. It is also important to inspect the tyres before driving, looking for any damage or wear that may make them vulnerable to punctures.
Additionally, it is wise to avoid areas with known pothole problems, such as areas undergoing construction or significant roadworks. These areas often have loose debris or gravel that pose a risk to tyres and should be avoided when possible. By taking these precautions, drivers can help to reduce the chances of getting a flat tyre and protect themselves and their vehicles from potential damage.
Related Reading: How To Keep Your Brand New Cars Tyres In The Best Condition
2. Potholes Can Cause Wheel Damage
The intricacy of the design of a wheel is often overlooked, but in reality, it is surprisingly complex. Wheels are composed of several vital components that work in unison to ensure proper functionality.
Unfortunately, due to their complex nature, pothole damage is a common issue that can occur. The hub is the centerpiece of the wheel and serves as the primary connection point between the wheel and axle. It is responsible for the transmission of power and torque between the wheel and the rest of the vehicle. A pothole can cause damage to the hub by warping or bending it, leading to issues with wheel alignment and balance.
Another important component of a wheel is the rim, which is the outer edge that encircles the wheel. The rim is the portion of the wheel that is visible when looking at it from the top or bottom. Also known as an outer body or flange, it not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the wheel but also serves as a crucial structural element. A pothole can cause damage to the rim by denting or cracking it. Such damage could result in a slow leak or rapid deflation of the tyre leading to a blowout.
Lastly, there are the spokes that connect the rim to the hub. They play a crucial role in keeping the wheel stable while turning corners at high speeds. Spokes also help distribute the weight of the vehicle evenly, reducing the risk of uneven wheel wear. However, since spokes are brittle, they are susceptible to damage when exposed to potholes. A pothole impact can bend, dislodge, or break a spoke, leading to wheel instability, vibrations, and in severe cases, complete failure.
In short, the complexity of the design of wheels means that they are susceptible to damage from potholes. The hub, rim, and spokes are the critical components that can be damaged by potholes, leading to wheel alignment, balance, stability issues, and potential tyre blowouts. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of potholes and take necessary precautions to avoid their deleterious effects on your wheels.
Related Reading: Why Is My Car Making A Noise?
3. Potholes Can Cause Suspension Damage
The suspension system of a car is a complex combination of springs, shocks, and struts that are responsible for providing stability and balance to the vehicle. Its primary function is to keep the car level and steady, ensuring that it remains in control while driving over varied terrains, including bumps and potholes. The suspension is also critical for handling, where it ensures that the car responds adequately to the driver’s control inputs.
In case of encountering a pothole at high speed, the suspension system undergoes significant stress, which can result in sustained damage. The impact can severely affect the car’s handling, making it difficult to maintain control, while also leading to an uncomfortable ride quality.
This damage can manifest in various ways, such as steering wheel vibration, a loud clunk or rattle sound, uneven tyre wear, or changes in steering responsiveness, among others. Proper maintenance of the suspension system is essential to prevent these issues and ensure the car’s optimal performance and comfort.
Related Reading: Problems With Your Clutch? – Learn To Recognise & Check Them
4. Potholes Can Damage Your Paint Work
When driving on roads that are in a poor state of repair, encountering potholes is almost inevitable. Unfortunately, potholes can wreak havoc on the exterior of your vehicle in a multitude of ways. One of the most immediately noticeable effects is paint chipping. As the tyre hits the hole, debris and rocks can be thrown up, striking the car’s paintwork and leaving unsightly chips behind.
However, paint chips are not the only issue that can arise from hitting potholes. Another common result is scratches, which can be caused by the same debris that chips the paint. Scratches can occur on any part of the vehicle that comes into contact with the pothole, including the wheels and undercarriage.
Yet another consequence of hitting potholes is oxidation. When the protective clear coat and paint layer are damaged by the impact, the exposed metal beneath can begin to rust. If left untreated, rust can spread quickly and cause serious damage to the car’s bodywork.
In addition to causing rust, oxidation can also lead to paint peeling. If the area affected by the pothole is not addressed, the exposed metal will continue to oxidize, causing the paint to bubble and peel away from the car.
Overall, potholes can cause a host of issues that can affect the aesthetics of your vehicle and leave it vulnerable to rusting. It is important to take prompt action to address any damage caused by potholes in order to protect the longevity and appearance of your car.
5. Potholes Can Offset Wheel Alignment
Wheel alignment is a critical aspect of car maintenance that can ultimately affect the efficiency and safety of your vehicle. If your wheels are not properly aligned, it can lead to a host of other issues like uneven wear on your tyres, poor handling, and decreased fuel economy. Therefore, it’s essential to be aware of the signs of misalignment and take prompt action.
One of the main problems caused by wheel misalignment is premature tyre wear, which can be very costly. Uneven tyre wear is often an indication of camber or caster misalignment. This imbalance can occur when the suspension system is out of alignment, which can lead to an unequal distribution of weight on the tyres. As a result, the tyres start to wear unevenly, ultimately decreasing their lifespan and potentially causing a dangerous blowout.
In addition to premature tyre wear, misalignment can also affect your car’s handling. For instance, when your wheels are not aligned correctly, it can cause the vehicle to pull in one direction when you’re driving straight. This issue is usually associated with a toe misalignment, which occurs when the front or rear wheels turn inward or outward at an angle, rather than sitting straight ahead.
If you suspect that your wheels are misaligned (especially after hitting a pothole or a curb), it’s crucial to get them checked out by a professional technician as soon as possible. Only an experienced technician can identify the exact nature and extent of the problem and recommend the best solution for correcting it. Some of the common solutions for correcting wheel misalignment include adjusting the suspension system, resetting the wheel angles, and replacing worn-out parts.
In conclusion, wheel alignment plays a vital role in keeping your car running smoothly and safely on the road. By being aware of the signs of misalignment and taking prompt action, you can prevent significant issues like premature tyre wear and poor handling, saving yourself time, money, and hassle in the long run.
Related Reading: What Damage Can Potholes Cause To Your Car?
In order to steer clear of potholes, it is essential to maintain a vigilant lookout for them on the road ahead. One should keep their line of vision focused in front of them, scanning the pavement for any signs of irregularities or changes in the road surface. As soon as a pothole is spotted, it is necessary to take immediate action to avoid it. This may involve decelerating the vehicle or quickly changing lanes to avoid driving over it.
In the event that an individual has hit a pothole, it is crucial to inspect the car’s condition right away. This can prevent further damage to the vehicle and ensure its safety on the road. It is highly recommended that individuals enlist the help of a professional mechanic to assess the damage to the car. This person will have a detailed understanding of the automobile’s mechanics and can efficiently diagnose any issues that may have arisen as a result of the impact.
Depending on the severity of the damage, there may be the possibility of repairing the damage without professional assistance. However, if the damage is significant, such as problems with the suspension or wheels, it is always best to take the vehicle to a reputable mechanical service provider. They have the expertise to perform the essential repairs and restore the car to its original condition, ensuring the safety of the driver and passengers on the road.
Related Reading: 10 Most Common Car Problems You Can Fix Yourself
What are your options for extended UK car warranty cover?
We don’t want to complicate this, so we’ve kept it nice and simple. Here’s three great options for mechanical breakdown or electrical failure car warranty cover, that’ll give you all you need, including cover for wear & tear.
Select this option if you want affordable cover for a long list of covered components. Gives you up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts.
Select this option to cover a wide range of components on your vehicle, and get up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT in the event of mechanical breakdown or electrical failure, or imminent failure identified during an MOT or service.
Looking for comprehensive warranty protection? Our 5-Star warranty covers an extensive range of parts and offers up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts on your vehicle.