Bumping into a curb–or a “curb-check”– is a minor driving hazard that even experienced drivers have made from time to time. When it does happen, a lot of us feel embarrassed and just drive on, not even to think about checking our rims and tires.
However, the thing is that making contact with a stationary object of any kind, whether it be another vehicle or a curb, can cause serious damage to your car! That’s right, even at just five miles per hour, hitting a curb can cause damage that requires repair. The effects can become even more severe when you continue to drive the vehicle without making these necessary repairs right away. Keep reading and find out just what damage a curb-check can cause and what steps you should follow if you have such a collision.
The most likely results of a curb-check can be the following…
Tire and wheel damage
Control arms and tire rods damage
Steering knuckle damage
Tire and wheel damage are the most common effects of hitting a curb, however, the control arms and tire rods can also be damaged by the impact. If you don’t know, tire rods connect your wheels to the steering system, so this type of damage can cause your steering to be severely affected and highly risks a possible crash. Damage to the control arms and steering knuckles can also cause driveability issues. Although body/fender issues are less common, they could also possibly occur when hitting a curb. If you are planning to sell your car, all of these issues mentioned will affect its resale value. Therefore, let’s get it fixed.
Here is what you need to do next…
Step One: Give Your Car a Once Over
Just like with any collision, the moments right after you hit a curb are crucial. Pay special attention to the tire wall which is much weaker material-wise than the tread. If there doesn’t appear to be any damage, you still need to keep an eye on the tire. A weakened tire wall doesn’t always collapse on site. Sometimes the caving occurs miles down the road when the curb is long forgotten. Also, you should check for any damage to the body that a low-lying curb may have caused. Even small scratches caused by minor instances, like hitting a curb, can be costly in the long run due to rust damage.
One thing you can try if you suspect damage but don’t see any: take your vehicle to an empty parking lot and see if you can drive it without the steering wheel pulling to the left or the right. If your vehicle no longer drives in a straight path, you may have caused an alignment issue.
Step Two: Schedule an Inspection
The price of scheduling an overall inspection including an alignment check is a small investment to make when you think long-term. This is especially true since fixing small problems before they lead to more extensive damage lessens the likelihood of costly repairs. Even if no damage is found, you will have peace of mind knowing that your tire rods are in place, your car is aligned, and your wheels are ready to roll.
If you had a run-in with a curb and caused some damage, 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.