Whether as a driver or a passenger, we’ve all felt that horrible thud of hitting a pothole. But potholes are more than simply a springtime nuisance. They are actually one of the most abusive hazards your vehicle faces on a regular basis. Hitting potholes can lead to a host of problems for you and your vehicle. It is best to avoid them, but in some cases they are just unavoidable.
Potholes Prey on Shocks and Struts
While you might just think of getting a flat tire or bent rim when you hit a pothole, did you know that shocks and struts are a component of your car that can also be seriously damaged if you hit a bad pothole? Shocks and struts control your car’s ride and handling, and act as a cushion to dampen the bouncing action of the car’s springs. They also control spring and suspension movement to keep your car’s tires in contact with the road so that it will steer properly, maintain stability, and brake safely.
Watch for the Warning Signs
Compromised shocks and struts can impact steering and handling, so it is essential to be aware of the warning signs that your vehicle’s shocks or struts may need to be replaced:
- Rolling or swaying on turns
- Front-end dives when braking or rear end dips when accelerating
- Bouncing or sliding sideways on rough or winding roads
- Bottoming out or thumping on bumps
- Unusual puddles under the car or leaking fluids
- Loss of directional control during sudden stops
It is a good idea to have your car inspected if you experience any of the above signs. Catching pothole damage issues early can prevent more extensive problems down the road.