They can cause considerable damage to a car.
Frederick, Md (KM) The snow and ice from last week are gone, but they’ve left behind potholes which can damage motor vehicles. AAA Mid-Atlantic says Americans each year spend a total of $3-billion in repairs to their vehicles after encountering potholes.. “The average bills have been between $250 to more than $1,000 depend upon the damage,” says Gary Thomas, the Car Care Manager at the AAA Car Care Center in Frederick.
He says potholes can cause considerable damage to a car. “Most obvious, is a blown tire. It seems to be the thing that happens the most when you hit a pothole,” says Thomas. “But outside of that, it can also damage the wheel itself, make the car vibrant, dislocate a shock or a strut and damage the exhaust systems.”
If you have encountered a pothole, Thomas says it’s best to take your car to a mechanic because it have some damage that you can’t see. “A lot of times what you don’t see is damage done under the car, and that may present itself at a later date,” he says. “The quicker you can get it checked off, the better you make sure what has happened to that vehicle, and you’re not looking at any bigger problems later on.”
AAA says some ways to avoid potholes include inspecting your tires to make sure they have enough tread. You can do that by inserting a quarter into the tire tread with President Washington’s head upside down. The tread should cove part of Washington’s head. If not, you need to look for some new tires.
Also, look ahead while driving to make sure that if there are potholes, you have time to avoid them. Before swerving to avoid a pothole, check on surrounding traffic so you don’t end up in a collision.
If you can’t avoid potholes, reduce your speed and look in the rearview mirror before abruptly braking. Hitting a pothole at a higher speed increases the chances of damage to the tires, wheels and the suspension.
In addition, beware of puddles because they can disguise a deep pothole. And use care when traveling through puddles.
The auto club says check your vehicle’s alignment after hitting a pothole. The impact can knock the wheels out of alignment and cause the vehicle to pull left or right.
Recognize any unusual noises and vibrations. AAA says that could have resulted from the pothole dislodging wheel weights, that can damage a tire or wheel, and bend or break the suspension. That problem should be inspected by a technician.
AAA Mid-Atlantic has put together a pothole page on its website to help the drivers find the appropriate state of local highway agency that fills in potholes. The web address is aaa.com/ReportAPothole.
By Kevin McManus