15 February 2008


Jim Rink (313) 336-1513

Potholes cause problems ranging from damaged tie rods and control arms to misaligned wheels and tire blowouts. Protect your vehicle with these safety tips:

  • Maintain full air pressure in all tires to provide as much cushion as possible between the pothole and the rim of the tire. Consult the vehicle owner’s manual for the correct pressure.
  • Watch for potholes by leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Before swerving around a pothole, be sure to check surrounding traffic.
  • If a pothole cannot be avoided, slow down. Hitting a pothole at high-speed increases the chance of damage to tires, wheels, shocks, struts, or springs.
  • When driving over a pothole-filled road, hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control.
  • Do not brake when directly over a pothole. Applying the brakes causes the car’s weight to shift to the front of the wheel and can increase damage from the impact.
  • Beware of water that may be concealing a deep pothole.
  • Indications that your vehicle has poor wheel alignment or suspension damage caused by potholes include:

    o Uneven wear or lumps on the tire.
    o Recurring loss of tire pressure.
    o Vehicle pulling to one side.
    o Off-center or cocked steering wheel.
    o Vibrations from the wheel area.

A broken shock or strut from a pothole encounter could alter the steering and handling of a vehicle and create dangers when driving at high speeds or in tight corners, and should be examined by a qualified technician immediately.