Shops working in colder climates know all too well that every car that comes in could have been the victim of pothole damage over the winter and end of season thaw.
Certainly damage that is severe will be noticed, but automotive professionals are also aware that some damage can be hard for drivers to notice, especially when roads are snow and ice covered and peppered with potholes that, if nothing else, take attention to avoid.
The non-profit Car Care Council urges motorists who have hit a pothole to watch out for the following warning signs that key safety-related systems may have been damaged:
- Steering and suspension: Loss of control, including swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads
- Alignment: Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear
- Tires: Low tire pressure, bulges, blisters on the sidewalls or dents in the wheel rim
As noted, it is important for service professionals to take the time to inspect vehicles for signs of damage, even when the customer has not noted a pothole hit.
“We recently surveyed drivers throughout the country and found that nearly all have hit a pothole at some point, but only one-third of those motorists had their vehicle checked after doing so,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Potholes can pack a powerful punch, adversely affecting a vehicle’s handling and performance. If you hit one, be sure to look for the warning signs of damage and have your vehicle inspected to ensure safe, dependable operation.”