Pothole season is upon us, which means you’ll likely see plenty of drivers swerving all over to keep their car from succumbing to one of many concrete craters. Even the best drivers in the world can’t avoid every pothole, so be prepared for bumpy driving conditions for the next few months. Today, we talk about some common problems caused by potholes, and what you should do if you hit a pothole with your car.
Potholes sprout up every spring as temperatures begin to rise. A pothole occurs when melting snow seeps into cracks in the road. The water then freezes overnight when the temperatures dip below freezing. The frozen water expands, which pressurizes the spot on the road. When the pressure becomes too great, or when a vehicle puts added pressure on the spot by driving over it, the area ruptures.
As more and more cars drive over the pothole, they’ll slowly chip away at the hole causing it to expand in size. The bigger the pothole, the bigger the problem.
Try to avoid potholes if possible, but if a pothole is unavoidable, resist the urge to slam on the breaks. As we likened in a previous post on potholes, driving over a pothole is similar to putting on a green. If you hit your golf ball too hard, it will simply fly right over the hole with little resistance. If you hit it slower, it will drop into the hole. A slower putt may be better in golf, but the slower you drive over a pothole, the farther your car will dip.
If you hit a pothole with your car, keeping driving unless you notice something is wrong. If your car starts pulling in one direction or you hear odd noises, pull over in a safe location. Continuing to drive with a major issue can put you and other drivers on the road in danger.
Potholes can cause a lot of issues with your car, but some problems are more common than others. Common problems caused by potholes include:
Flat or Damaged Tires – A particularly nasty pothole can severely damage or puncture your tires. Fortunately, this calls for a relatively quick and inexpensive fix compared to other issues.
Handling Issues – Potholes can throw off your ability to fully control your car. The concrete chasms can do damage to your bearings, which help turn your car right and left. If you’re having trouble steering after hitting a pothole, pull over as quickly and safely as possible.
Alignment – Similar to handling issues, a pothole can cause your car to pull to the left or right. The problem will only get worse if you ignore it, so stop in to a repair shop to have your car realigned in no time.
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