Potholes: An Unwelcome Sign of Spring
L et’s just get to the point. Potholes are the worst. They’re created when rain or snow seeps into the soil below the road’s surface. The moisture freezes when temperatures drop, causing the ground to expand and push the pavement up. Then, traffic stresses the pavement to its breaking point. When the pavement breaks, a new pothole is formed.
These craters can range in size from small cracks to giant crevasses, and can cause big problems to your tires, suspension system, alignment, even your engine. Here are some tips on handling these hazardous holes.
How to React to a Pothole
Navigating pothole season is all about two things. 1. Doing what you can to avoid them, and 2. Making the right moves when you do encounter them, which can help you avoid costly damage to your vehicle. Here’s what you should do:
- Make Room - Stay at least a car’s length behind the car in front of you. This gives you a wider view of the road, allowing you to see any hazards that might be approaching. (And, it’s never polite to tailgate another vehicle.)
- Don’t Swerve – Never swerve to avoid a pothole as it could cause an accident. Instead, grab control of your wheel and slow down so the impact with the pothole is less severe.
- Stay Inflated - Keep your tires properly inflated. Under or over inflated tires are more at risk for blowouts and flats. A properly inflated tire can handle the impact of a pothole much more efficiently.
- Be Vigilant - Report potholes to your state or city’s official website so they can be fixed for future drivers.
How to Assess Pothole Damage
Inevitably, you’ll hit a pothole at some point or another. When this happens, it’s important to assess pothole damage on these key areas of your car:
- Bulging Tires - If you see bumps on the side of your tire, you’ll want to get to a Sears Auto Center as quickly as possible for a tire check.
- Under the Car - Small rocks or pieces of pavement from the pothole can puncture or dent your vehicle’s fluid lines, or can get lodged in your brakes.
- Rims - Dents, large scratches or scrapes can cause vibration, a tear in your tire, buildup of rust or loss of air pressure.
- Exhaust and Engine - If you’re hearing odd noises coming from your vehicle, or your exhaust has gotten a bit louder, there’s probably something wrong.
How to Fix Pothole Damage
If you discover substantial pothole damage, don’t panic. The experts at Sears Auto Center will evaluate the situation and suggest the necessary repairs. Commonly suggested services for pothole damage include:
- Tire patching, replacement and maintenance
- Vehicle Inspection
- Tire Balancing
Visit your local Sears Auto Center or schedule an appointment online. We put your life in drive.