Around the U.S., freezing rain and fluctuating winter temperatures can leave roadways littered with potholes, causing vehicle damage and costly repairs for motorists! Potholes tend to form when moisture collects in small holes and cracks in the road surface. As temperatures rise and fall - as they have this winter - the moisture expands and contracts, ultimately resulting in broken up pavement, which is then continually impacted by the weight of passing cars.
Blown tires, dented rims, damaged wheels, dislodged wheel weights, displaced struts, dislocated shock absorbers and damaged exhaust systems are all costly common automotive issues. Other signs include misaligned steering systems and ruptured ball joints. So how can you protect your vehicle from winter's potholes? See our tips below:
- AAA suggests making sure tires have enough tread and are properly inflated. To check the treat depth, insert a quarter into the treat groove with Washington's head down. The tread should cover part of Washington's head! If it doesn't, it's time to start looking for new tires!
- Keep an eye out for potholes when driving - stay focused on the road ahead and don't get distracted! If you need to swerve to avoid a pothole, make sure to check surrounding traffic to avoid causing a collision or endanger nearby pedestrians or cyclists.
- If a pothole cannot be avoided, reduce speed and check the rearview mirror before any abrupt breaking. Hitting a pothole at higher speeds increases the likelihood of damage to tires, wheels, and suspension components.
- A puddle of water can disguise a deep pothole. Use care when driving through puddles and treat them as though they may be hiding potholes!
- Hitting a pothole can knock a vehicle's wheels out of alignment and affect the steering. If a vehicle pulls to the left or right, have the wheel alignment checked by a qualified technician.
- Any new or unusual noises or vibrations that appear after hitting a pothole should be inspected immediately by a certified technician. A hard pothole impact can dislodge wheel weights, damage a tire or wheel, and bend or even break suspension components.
Follow the steps above to help avoid and prevent potholes and keep your vehicle safe this year!
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