How Potholes Impact Your Vehicle

Potholes are due to the changing temperatures and snowfall that an average winter in New Jersey will experience. During the colder months, snow, sleet, and ice seep through cracks in the pavement. When the temperature rises above freezing, the water retracts, pushing the pavement upwards.  The temperature dips back below freezing, the water expands. The cycle starts all over again. The pressure from vehicles driving over the weakened areas creates damaging potholes. In addition, the snow plows that pave the road can cause serious damage to the weakened roads. In most cases, these pot holes aren’t filled until spring because of the breakdown cycle.

The Damage Potholes Cause to Your Vehicle

Hitting or just swerving to miss potholes can cause costly damage to many parts of your vehicle.

  • Tires: Continuously hitting potholes may shift the air in your tires causing a blowout. Depending on your traveling speed, the damage may go beyond replacing the tire. Rims and other mechanical components may need replacing.
  • Shocks and Suspension: Driving over potholes causes an intense impact on your shocks and suspension. Requiring costly replacement, driving over many pot holes may accelerate the wear and tear process.
  • Exhaust System: Depending on the size of the pothole, your vehicle may actually make contact with the pavement. The force may cause holes or extensive damage to your entire exhaust system.
  • Alignment: Hitting a pothole may cause your vehicle’s alignment to shift. Proper alignment is crucial for safe driving. Misalignment causes vibrations, poor steering, a sense of pulling to one side and irregular tire wear.

The damage to your vehicle may not be noticeable at first. But over time, your vehicle’s driving performance may be the indicator. Repeatedly driving over the potholes as the weather continues to fluctuate will continue the damaging process to your vehicle.