How to prevent potholes problems
Potholes occur mainly at the end of the winter season, especially in areas such as Quebec, where weather variations can be extreme. They begin when water seeps into asphalt cracks, then freeze and expand, displacing gravel and layers of soil. When this frozen combination of earth, ice and gravel thaws, holes form below the surface of the road. And that’s how the infamous potholes are created.
Watch out for your car
Unfortunately, potholes can cause serious damage to cars depending on the size of the hole and the speed at which you drive. Damage tends to worsen on lowered cars and smaller wheel or tire vehicles. Some potholes are so important that riding there can be compared to creating an impact similar to a car accident at 50 km / h!
Of course, potholes cause all sorts of damage, whether it’s tires, suspensions or exhaust. Fortunately, our service department can help you fix problems, if any.
Specific problems caused by potholes
The flanks of the tires often have cuts or swellings, called blisters, result of the shock too violent.
Damage to the rim
Potholes can cause splinters or bumps in the rims of your wheels if they come in contact with the asphalt.
Damage to the chassis
If your car falls too low, the floor of the vehicle can rub against the road and cause leaks of liquid and chips that will be an open door to rust.
Damage to the exhaust system
Similarly, when the bottom of the vehicle touches the asphalt, your exhaust system may be dented or punctured.
Alignment and suspension damage
Too abrupt contact with a pothole will often cause misalignment or other damage to your suspension. Check regularly for tire wear or if you notice that your car is pulling to the right or left. These are potential signs of alignment damage.
How to prevent damage caused by potholes
The best way to prevent potholes is to avoid them completely. But it’s not always so simple.
Simple steps to avoid potholes
Although we always recommend driving safely while driving slowly and leaving extra space between you and the car in front of you, this becomes especially important during the pothole season. Slow speeds not only lessen the damage if you hit one, but, combined with enough space, let you avoid them completely!
Stay on the lookout for puddles
When it rains or there is a lot of melted snow, these road hazards often hide in puddles of water. When puddles form in a pothole, drivers often do not realize that it is there or how bad it is. You never know how deep the hole will be.
Limit the damage caused by potholes when hitting them is inevitable
Good tire inflation
Poorly inflated or inflated tires greatly increase your chances of damaging your vehicle when driving on a pothole. Find out the tire pressure recommended in pounds per square inch. In cold weather, use a tire gauge to find out where your tires are, then refuel or remove air according to your manufacturer’s recommended PSI.
Drive slowly and hold on
Once again, driving slowly is always essential to go safely. If you have to pass over a pothole, drive slowly and hold the steering wheel firmly to avoid losing control of the vehicle. Lower speeds reduce damage from potholes!
Do not block the brakes
Braking over a pothole can cause more damage. It is best to brake BEFORE CONTACT to mitigate potential damage. Just roll to reduce your risk of damage to the vehicle.
But sometimes, the damage is inevitable. To make sure all is well, if you hit a pothole a little too violently, be sure to check with our service professionals. They will be able to do a quick inspection and guide you to prevent the situation from getting worse.