How to avoid damage when a pothole is in your path.
- Slow down and pay attention to the road conditions. Don’t be fooled, thinking that some potholes are small. If they are filled with water they can be more than you bargained for. Also, keep some distance between you and the car you are following—that will give you time to react should there be a pothole hazard up ahead.
- Avoiding potholes is the best bet, but if the impact is inevitable, try to at least partly slow down before entering, and drive straight into it. Turning into a pothole exposes more tire sidewall to potential damage.
- Be diligent after a pothole encounter. Any shake or shimmy in your car’s ride can mean something was damaged. Stop the car, check for visible signs of tire and wheel damage. Keep in mind that if the front tire ran over the hole, the rear tire probably did as well—check both. Also, if no damage is visible, it could mean the car threw a balance weight off a wheel or possibly suffered suspension damage. Have everything checked by your mechanic.
- Keeping your tires inflated to the recommended inflation pressure is one of the best guards for minimizing pothole damage to your tires and wheels. Under- or overinflated tires can affect a tires’ or wheel’s resistance to pothole damage. Most cars now have a tire pressure monitoring system to alert the driver if a tire is losing air pressure. If your car does not have a tire pressure monitoring system, check the tire pressure when the tire has cooled to ambient temperature to be sure it’s not losing air from the pothole encounter.