How Potholes Damage your Tires
June 3, 2022
Maintenance, Spring Maintenance, Tires
How Potholes Damage your Tires
From time to time, you will hit a pothole while driving. Everyone who has hit one before knows just how frustrating a pothole can be. But that frustration is not the only negative thing that comes from hitting a pothole.
A pothole forms very easily when water runs in the cracks formed on a road. When it is cold enough, that water will freeze and expand, which in turn pushes some parts of the road upwards. When it finally thaws, some pockets are not supported, which forms potholes.
Potholes are bad because they might cause damage that are not easily or immediately noticeable. Different forms of damage can be done to your car. In this post, we will discuss how potholes damage your tires. We will also talk about the other types of damage you can expect and the best way to avoid them. Let’s get started.
Damage Caused by Potholes
If you hit a very large pothole hit at the right angle or even many smaller hits, you can expect that your car will have a problem with the tires, the suspension, as well as the alignment. If you do not see a pothole in time, chances are that you will hit it head-on. Sometimes, however, you will be able to notice it in time to avoid a bit of it or one of many potholes. The extent of the damage will depend on the pothole’s depth, as well as the car’s speed when hitting the pothole.
There is a chance to have serious damage that you will notice immediately like the tire failing. It is also possible for the damage to be unnoticeable immediately, only to cause a problem in the long run.
How Does a Pothole Affect Your Tires?
The tires are among the most vulnerable car parts. There are several problems you can experience such as punctures, tread separation, as well as sidewall bulges. Your car can have alignment problems, which will then result in uneven tire wear. The rims can also be affected if you hit a deep or large pothole.
How does it happen?
Imagine this. Your tire happens to hit a pothole with enough force to make the tire’s liner separate. Normally, this liner is airtight. When it separates from this impact, it will allow air to get into the tire’s body. You can identify this damage from a bulge that forms on the sidewall. The truth is, that bulge can easily blow out at any time.
As for tread separation, it is caused by hitting a pothole’s hard edge. The rubber of the tire is pushed hard against the entire wheel and the rubber slices.
At the same time, the rims can be damaged or dented since they are made of aluminum. Normally, they would be fine without any sudden impacts by potholes. However, when the pothole is deep enough or if you are travelling fast enough, it will easily happen.
How to Avoid the Damage from Potholes
Now, the best course of action is to avoid these potholes completely. However, hitting a pothole is not anyone’s intention. It is mostly by accident. So, the next best action to take is to ensure all tires have adequate inflation to keep them in the best state even when they are hit with such an impact.
How does a Pothole affect your Tires?
The impact from hitting a pothole might not damage your tire easily. However, when you have enough speed and the pothole is deep enough, you can expect some problems with your wheels. It is possible for cracks, chips, and bends to form on the wheel.
Your wheel alignment is also susceptible to damage from hitting potholes. When you hit the harder or deeper part of the pothole, your steering system can be messed up and the wheels can easily be misaligned. It is possible to identify it when you notice that your car naturally goes to a specific side and can be unresponsive.
All these problems will mess up the airtight seal that should form between the tire and the wheel. Remember, a wheel with some cracks and bends will not roll as smoothly as it should. This is a problem that can easily escalate into an accident.
Best Action to Take
Any of the problems mentioned above can easily transform into a big issue. Therefore, the best thing to do when you notice a wheel with certain issues is to get it checked out. When the wheels are bent, it is possible they could be repaired.
If for any reason you suspect a problem with the wheel alignment, we recommend that you visit a repair shop and ensure that everything is working fine. If anything is noticed, it is best to have the necessary repairs made.
Tips to Reduce or Avoid Damage by Potholes
Several tips will help you keep your vehicle in the best condition possible.
- First, you need to ensure that the tires you are driving have adequate inflation and are in the best condition possible. When you do that, you will be able to absorb any pothole impact safely.
- Secondly, you have to be careful when driving. When the road is not familiar, it would be best to drive slower and avoid being distracted. Driving defensively works perfectly. When you successfully miss one pothole, be on the lookout for any other that might be close.
- Finally, when you notice that you cannot escape a pothole, stop giving the car more gas and do not brake. At that point, hold on tightly to your steering wheel to get the maximum level of control.