It’s been a cold winter and, while it may not be completely over, we are starting to see the aftermath in the form of potholes and damage to roads. Potholes form when water seeps into cracks in the pavement, freezes and expands. Traffic over these areas as well as rain accelerates the process. Potholes can be a big problem for motorists, damaging wheels or rims, tires, suspension components, and even engines. While avoiding these hazardous parts of the pavement is ideal, it’s not always possible, as we all know. If you hit a pothole and suspect that there is damage to your vehicle it is best to follow the steps below.
1. Assess The Damage
We’ve all been there. The winter thaw has begun and you’re cruising when, WHAM! Your car plunges into a crater-like hole in the road. The first thing you should do is stop as soon as your can, safely, and assess the damage. Even if you hit a pothole and the car feels and sounds fine, it’s always a good idea to check. You might have a situation similar to this Corvette owner’s:
“Midway through the road trip from Bowling Green to San Francisco in the brand new C7, I change lanes to pass a semi and hit a pothole. The car felt fine and no warnings but we pulled over to check it out and I spotted the top of the front driver side suspension popped out and extending into the engine bay.”
2. File a Claim and Report
It may not make sense to file a claim if your deductible is more than the cost of repair, but if you do see major damage to your vehicle, you should file a claim with your insurance company. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of any damage as well as the pothole for later use.
Whether you intend to make a claim for damage or not, you should make it a priority to report the pothole to your local highway authority or jurisdiction so that the road can be repaired to prevent further incidents.
3. Take Your Vehicle to a Certified Service Technician
Some damage to your vehicle may not be visible by doing a walk around. After hitting a pothole, especially at high speeds, it’s advised to take it in to a certified service technician who can fully inspect and repair your vehicle. After driving through a pothole, bent rims to steering system misalignment or a full-on tire puncture may follow. If you are driving a car with a low profile, like a Corvette, there could be damage to the undercarriage. It’s best to have a professional run an inspection.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid hitting potholes this spring:
- Prepare your vehicle by making sure that your tires are properly inflated.
- Leave more room between the car in front of you to give yourself time to avoid
- If you cannot safely avoid a pothole, try to slow down your vehicle and drive
straight through. Make sure you keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, so that
your vehicle does not suddenly change direction.
- Avoid driving distractions and, above all, keep your eyes on the road.
If you have a run-in with a pothole this spring and are in need of repairs, contact the Matick Service Department at (866) 561-0521 to schedule an inspection by one of their certified technicians. You can also schedule a service appointment online.