As winter winds down and the weather gets warmer, you will undoubtedly see more potholes on the roadways. And, as you know, avoiding them can be a real challenge. If you hit a pothole, it is important to begin watching for three warning signs to determine whether your vehicle has been damaged.

  1. Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming out on city streets, or bouncing excessively on rough roads — these are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key, safety-related systems. They largely determine your car’s ride and handling and need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
  2. Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear, are symptoms of an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is crucial for maintaining the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling of your vehicle.
  3. Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the wheel rim will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible. Tires are the critical connection between your car and the road so you want to make sure you have solid tires on your car.

Potholes are a nuisance for everyone, but not everyone understands what causes them and why they are sometimes difficult for a city crew to keep up with.  Potholes occur when water permeates the pavement – usually through a crack – and softens the soil beneath it.  This creates a depression in the surface of the street. Many potholes appear during winter and spring months because of freeze-thaw cycles. Potholes can also be prevalent in areas with excessive rainfall and flooding.

Pothole season may last longer these days as many municipalities do not have the resources to fill potholes as fast as they would like, leaving drivers to dodge them well into late spring and summer.  Because hitting a pothole can put a big dent in your wallet, making necessary repairs right away could save you from more costly ones down the road. If you feel your vehicle has suffered damage from hitting a pothole, it is wise to have it inspected by a professional service technician.

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