I hit a pothole. Is my vehicle is OK?

Drivers know immediately when they hit a pothole. However, it isn’t always immediately clear if hitting the pothole caused damage to their vehicle, and if it did, to what extent.

Unfortunately, potholes can do more damage than just knocking the alignment out of adjustment on your vehicle. Hitting potholes can damage your tires, wheels, steering and suspension, bend parts, and even sometimes bend the frame. 

Here are three warning signs that your car might be in need of attention:

1. Pulling in one direction, instead of maintaining a straight path, and uneven tire wear. These symptoms mean there’s an alignment problem. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires and helps ensure safe handling.

2. Low tire pressure, bulges or blisters on the sidewalls, or dents in the rim. These problems will be visible and should be checked out as soon as possible as tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions.

3. Loss of control, swaying when making routine turns, bottoming-out on city streets or bouncing excessively on rough roads. These are indicators that the steering and suspension may have been damaged. The steering and suspension are key safety-related systems. Together, they largely determine your car’s ride and handling. Key components are shocks and/or struts, the steering knuckle, ball joints, the steering rack/box, bearings, seals and hub units and tie rod ends.

It is recommended that motorists who experience any of the following warning signs after hitting a pothole should have a professional technician with experience in frame, alignment and suspension expertise (www.foxandfoxservice.com) inspect their vehicle.

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