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pot holes and reducing damage to car


  • potholes are caused by water seeping UNDER the road pushing the bitumen up and then the traffic weight pushes it down and cracks it open

Potential damage from potholes

  • driving over potholes at speed or if deep may cause:
    • bent wheel rims which may cause a slow puncture
    • body damage
    • damage and punctures to tires
      • tyre sidewall is bulging indicates there is internal damage to the tyre and the steel belts and nylon in the tyre have separated
    • wheel misalignment causes vehicle to pull left or right while you are driving
      • steering wheel vibrates while you are driving is a clear indication that your wheels have become imbalanced
    • damage to the control arm which may affect your ability to steer correctly, though you may not notice this until you need to take emergency action
    • damaged suspension which may cause vehicle to veer from side to side, or the vehicle to shake
      • part of the car or wheel rubbing against the suspension will cause continuous noise whilst driving
    • bent axle
    • engine could move off its mounts. Engine misalignment means the engine must work harder, and this will cause damage over a longer time.

Reducing damage

  • ensure tires are correctly inflated as this will provide the best absorption of forces
    • the less air pressure your tires have, the less ability they have to keep bitumen and wheel apart during a collision with a pothole.
  • drive slower
  • keep focused on the road ahead and don't get distracted so you can better avoid the potholes
  • keep a good distance from the vehicle in front to give you more warning of a pothole and chance to avoid it
  • take care swerving - hitting an ongoing car or losing control at speed is far wore than pothole damage
  • one pot hole suggests there are likely to be more on that road - take extra care
  • never drive through flood waters, even if the water looks shallow,
  • if you can't avoid a pothole, keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel, slow down but release brakes BEFORE impact, and steer straight, don't slam the brakes on! Applying the brakes at the time you hit the pothole can cause more damage as weight s transferred to the front wheels and it may also cause a rear-end collision.

If you hit a large pothole at speed

  • get your wheels checked for damage and wheel alignment
  • check engine mount for damage
  • check shocks, struts and suspension

Damage from driving over speed humps too fast

  • wear and tear on shock absorbers
    • this may lead to prolonged increased vibrations which can cause leaks in the power steering system, throw your wheels out of alignment, and ruin steering rack mounts.
  • risk of tire side wall damage and blow outs
  • risk of direct hit to exhaust system and subsequent damage to the rubber mounts
  • risk of wheel misalignment
australia/car_potholes.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/05 00:29 by gary1

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