Spring is the ideal season for long countryside drives. Sadly, the recovering roads often don’t agree to that sentiment. As we discussed earlier this month, potholes can be a gigantic pain during these early spring months. Potholes occur when water penetrates through the pavement by way of cracks in the road’s surface, thereby softening the soil beneath it. This subsequently creates a hole in the pavement’s surface. When the ground freezes and thaws throughout the winter, this process further accelerates, leaving pesky potholes on the street.
But here is some good news — pothole season is nearly over! Though the streets may not be patched up quite yet, we should be on our way to smoother rides. The bad news is that potholes may have already damaged your car’s tires, wheels, steering, suspension, or alignment. While they may cost a pretty penny to repair now, neglecting these issues could land you with an even bigger bill down the road. Avoid causing even more vehicle trouble by keeping an eye out for these four signs of pothole damage this spring:
- Tire Issues. One telltale sign of tire damage is consistently low tire pressure. Filling your tires is always a critical part of car care. Other tire issues caused by potholes include faint vibrations from the wheels, bulges on the sidewalls and dents in the wheel rim.
- Pulling. If your alignment has been compromised by a pothole, chances are your steering will begin to “pull.” Proper alignment is key for handling and tire function. So, to check for damage and avoid further issues, be sure that your steering wheel always points the same way as your tires.
- Loss of Control. If your car seems to sway during turns, bottom out on the road, or bounce more than usual, this may mean your car has sustained some steering and suspension damage this season. Like the tires and the alignment, these are key safety systems in your car that determine how well it handles.
If any of these problems are inhibiting your ability to enjoy spring drives, have a professional take a look at your car. Making the necessary repairs will keep your car reliable and keep you safe all year long.
Think your car is ready to hit the road? Let us know where you plan to take your next ride in the comments!