Should I Get My Car Checked After Hitting a Pothole?

We’ve all hit a pothole before; no matter how carefully you’re driving, it’s often impossible to avoid them. That said, just because you have hit one does not necessarily mean you need to take your car to see a mechanic.

Some potholes are larger than others, and you never know when one might cause damage. That’s exactly why Brown’s Collision Center is here to help you figure out if your pothole encounter was serious enough for you to consider bringing your vehicle into our shop.

Remember: Your Vehicle Is Built For Potholes

For the most part, modern vehicles are made to withstand some bumps on the road. From shock-absorbing suspension to flexible rubber tires, your car is probably equipped with several features that keep it safe from routine potholes.  In most cases, when damage is sustained it is because the suspension was already failing or your tires need replacing.

To stop that from happening, make sure to have your vehicle inspected and serviced regularly. Every vehicle has a recommended car maintenance schedule that you can find written in the owner’s manual. By following this schedule you’ll avoid most sudden repair needs. Larger holes or regular driving on poorly maintained roads will still wear your car down regardless, though, so watch out for those hazards and avoid them when you can.

Never Forget to Listen

We’ve all hit one of those major potholes that seem to come out of nowhere and violently rocks the vehicle when you pass over it. These encounters are more likely to cause damage, so it’s important to make sure that everything is okay when they happen. The first thing you should do is turn the radio off and listen to the sounds the car is making. Can you hear any strange sounds? Even a quiet rattling or sputtering noise could indicate damage that you will need to have repaired. If you have any doubts about the noises you hear or whether or not the car is working properly, be sure to consult an expert like the staff members at Brown’s; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Inspect Your Tires and Wheels

After your auditory inspection, it’s time to get out of the car and take a closer look at the site of the impact. Find the wheel that hit the pothole and examine it up close. Is there a bend in the wheel? Is it not a perfect circle? Also, inspect the tire. Are there any strange bubbles in the tire or a bulge in the sidewall? If you spot anything wrong with the tire or the wheel, it may be dangerous to continue driving the car. Have it towed to our shop and let us take a closer look at it instead. It may just be regular wear and tear that would have been caught the next time you went to a mechanic for basic car maintenance, but you never know.

Look For Handling Problems

Even if you don’t see or hear anything amiss right away, you may still come across signs of damage later. Over the next several days, watch to see if the vehicle bounces harder on the road or pulls to the right or left as you drive. This may mean there’s a problem with the tie rods, suspension, or connections running from the frame to the wheels. If you experience any shift in performance, bring the vehicle in to see us so we can determine what is causing it and get it fixed for you.

Visit Us With Your Car Maintenance Needs

Sometimes you get lucky hitting a pothole, and sometimes you don’t. If your vehicle looks odd or is performing poorly after hitting one of these obstacles (or any other time, for that matter) you should give us a call and schedule an inspection. We’ll identify the problem and get to work fixing your vehicle, all while keeping you in the loop throughout the entire process. Send us an email or give us a call at your earliest convenience; we’d be happy to fix any car problems, answer any of your questions or perform the routine car maintenance that keeps your vehicle in tip-top shape.

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