Fall is here, bringing the chill with it. You need your hot coffee to stay in the cup, not spill all over the car seat. But if your tires are not in good shape, your car is quite likely to hit a pothole and do just that, ruining your day. At such times, the damage, unfortunately, goes beyond spilled coffee. Sometimes it is visible, such as bent rims or leaky tires. Sometimes the damage is not so visible. Suddenly one day you may drive out and face setbacks such as damaged struts or a malfunctioning suspension. Before severe weather swings in to worsen road conditions, learn more about potholes, the damage they can do to your vehicle and how to steer clear of them.

How are Potholes Created?

When water seeps into pavement cracks and freeze in the harsh Canadian winters, potholes are formed as the ground expands and cracks. On warmer days, the frozen water melts, leaving a large hole in the pavement and roads. 

About $1.4 billion per year is spent by Canadians on pothole damage repairs, says a study conducted in 2016 by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). Even though old potholes are regularly repaired every year, new ones consistently develop, threatening to damage your vehicle. 

Pothole Precautions 

If you hit a pothole, do not make the mistake of ignoring any sign of damage as most drivers do. Get your vehicle checked at once. The longer you take to visit the mechanic, the more the damage may escalate and cost you additionally in repairs. 

  • Your car tire is connected to certain parts of your vehicle that affect the steering if damaged. There’s a control arm that connects your wheels to your steering, for instance, that can affect the steering if damaged. It’s hard to spot that until you visit the car mechanic. They hook it up to an electric computing system that detects the problem. 
  • If you find your car veering out of control or shaking, the suspension may be damaged. It may not occur immediately after hitting a pothole but can appear later over time.
  • Your car’s engine may be affected if you are using up more power while driving in the direction you desire or the car seems misaligned. It’s quite like a hand fracture when the heart has to work harder to pump more blood into the injured area.
  • The speed of the car while hitting the pothole can often detect the extent of the damage. The higher the speed, the harder is the hit and consequent damage to the vehicle. But even a minor hit can knock it out of alignment.
  • Potholes can puncture the tire, bend or crack the wheel, damaging the tire’s sidewall or belts.
  • If your steering is not centred, there’s a bulge on the tire sidewall, you feel strange vibrations in the steering, floor or seat or you hear an unfamiliar noise while driving, or a dashboard warning light flashes, your vehicle or the wheel may be affected. There could be internal tire damage too. 

 

Don’t wait! Get it inspected at once. 416 Wheels and Tires in Mississauga provides several tire styles and brands. We also carry top brands for all seasons, summer and winter tires. Visit us to get yours changed before winter is here for safe, stress-free days ahead.