How Potholes Affect Your Vehicle And How To Avoid Them

Pothole season is approaching–both humans and climate change have a huge impact on roadways. Yes, you read that correctly! Potholes are most common when we transition from winter to spring. As a result of this abrupt climate change, temperatures fluctuate, causing havoc on roads. 

In the largest meaning possible 

Potholes form when water seeps into fractures in the road. During the winter, the water within the pavement freezes, expanding and taking up more space, resulting in bends and cracks. The temperature rises in the spring, melting the ice beneath the pavement. The pavement contracts, leaving unsightly gaps or cavities on the surface where water might collect. With time, the trapped water degrades the pavement. As heavier vehicles such as trucks, cars, and motorcycles travel over the weak region, the material becomes more prone to being broken down or displaced, resulting in potholes. 


Whether you like it or not, stepping through potholes is an unavoidable part of driving. Potholes increase the likelihood of car accidents, which can result in serious injuries or fatalities. According to government estimates, the total number of accidents caused by invisible potholes will be 4,775 in 2021.  

Furthermore, your cars are prone to damage. The easiest method to avoid major damage to your vehicle is to slow down as much as possible before falling into it. This will protect your vehicle from being damaged by potholes. 

What effect do potholes have on your vehicle?

Hitting a pothole at high speed, no matter how big or tiny, can seriously damage your rims by causing them to collide with the sidewall. If this occurs on a regular basis, the sidewall of your vehicle may be severely destroyed. You’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg if you believe this is it. Hold on until the end to find out what kinds of catastrophic harm potholes may cause to your vehicle. 

The tires of your vehicle are constantly in contact with the road. When a car collides with a dead hole on the road, half of the force is transferred upward, affecting the vehicle’s suspension and wheel alignment. 

When you hit a pothole at high speed, the tires go inside the vehicle and then roll out. The damage here is caused by the impact on the exit rather than the impact on the hole. The amount of pothole damage to an automobile depends on the tire’s length and depth, as well as the length of the pothole. The greater the impact, the smaller the wheel. If the pothole’s depth equals the tire’s diameter, your vehicle will sustain additional damage. 

Two-wheelers that collide with potholes are more likely to sustain severe damage. During the collision, the driver is more likely to get serious injuries or die. 

A single hole can generate a variety of problems 

The harm caused by a pothole is not restricted to the tires. Other important sections of the car absorb the impact as well and are more likely to be damaged. The most often reported damages are- 

  •  The absence of a hubcap
  •   A blown tyre 
  •   A shattered or warped wheel 
  •   Wheel misalignment 
  • Shock absorbers that have been damaged 
  • Hubcaps are readily lost. 

Only pressure clamps secure hubcaps to tyres. As a result, they are more likely to fly off when your automobile hits a pothole at high speed. It could cost you anywhere from $20 to $150 per wheel. 

Interior tyre and other structures 

When driving over potholes, the tires are the first point of contact, absorbing around 80% of the impact. This quick contact has the potential to inflict structural damage, as well as tyre rupture. Potholes might have an impact on your suspension. 

When your car hits a pothole, the pothole hits back with both vertical and horizontal power. These pressures are transmitted to the suspension, which oscillates up and down during the impact. When there is a lot of horizontal force, the steering linkage and suspension parts are more likely to be damaged. Depending on the type of vehicle, a replacement linkage could cost between $75 and $250. The suspension arm can burn a hole in your pocket, costing anything from $150 to more than $320. 

Potholes can rip your shock absorbers apart

Shock absorbers can wear out owing to high-impact driving, especially on rough roads. If you see oil leaking from your shock absorber, it’s a negative sign that it has to be replaced. Some claim that oil leaking in shock absorbers is common, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. The cost of replacing shock absorbers can range from $50 to $500. 

Inadequate steering alignment

The considerable force induced by the incident can cause one or more steering or suspension components to become misaligned; if you find yourself going right or left while attempting to travel straight, get a checkup. Your vehicle’s internal suspension and steering structure may have been damaged as a result of the pothole. 

In that scenario, you should have your alignment examined. For vehicles, wheel alignment can range from $50 to $75%. It can increase from $100 to $150. Wheel alignment is critical since it can cause significant harm to your vehicle’s internal components if ignored. Pothole damage to a car mostly causes internal damage that often goes unseen in the beginning, but a lot happens beneath the surface.

Finally, we come to a conclusion; that was a long read! We anticipate that you will enjoy reading our posts. We hope you have understood the necessity of having your vehicle evaluated on a regular basis in order to diagnose internal concerns before they worsen.  Stay tuned for more excellent blogs that will undoubtedly help you extend the life of your cherished four wheels. We’d love to hear from you and keep a lookout for more helpful articles in the future. Have a safe drive until then! 

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