Ah, the mighty road pothole! A burden of drivers since the time roads were first paved with asphalt. Typically, potholes are caused (at least in our neck of the desert), by normal wear and tear of road traffic on asphalt, also extreme weather during the winter months when relentless freezing and thawing of water under the pavement weakens the road and causes large cracks. Add heavy traffic and you’ll eventually get potholes forming. Oh, forgot to mention that our Monsoon Season and flooding can also contribute to the number and severity of potholes and even sinkholes. Yikes! So, as a driver, what do you need to know so that you can be better prepared?
Other than reporting new potholes to the City (or TxDOT), make sure your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated. Having the correct tire pressure will insure your car holds up better if you happen to run over a pothole.
Secondly, if there’s a case when you just can’t avoid driving over a pothole, slow down before you hit it. Let your car’s momentum glide you over the pothole and don’t brake directly over the hole either. You could end up causing more damage to your sidewalls and fenders.
Third, when guiding your car through the pothole, make sure you are firmly holding onto the steering wheel to maintain control. Again, not doing so could lead to possible added vehicle damage.
A final tip to consider is that during or after a heavy rain, use caution driving over puddles in the road. No matter the size, any puddle could be a pothole in disguise.
Potholes are no joke, believe it. Even if they are small, some potholes can have as much impact on your car as a 35-mph car crash. They can cause possible structural damage to the tire itself and can cause alignment, suspension or steering problems.
The Car Care Council says the following are signs of pothole damage:
- Bulges or blisters on the tire sidewalls.
- Dents in the wheel rims.
- Undercarriage damage, including fluid leaks and wear that could lead to rust.
- Odd noises coming from the exhaust system due to dents or punctures.
- The car pulling toward the left or right, instead of going straight, which could indicate an alignment problem.
- Uneven tire wear, which could indicate an alignment problem.
If you notice any of these signs on your car, get it checked right away by a professional. It could end up saving you repair costs down the road.
Had a run-in with someone (or something) by accident? Come see us right away at Pete Solis Collision Center! We are El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.