Spring driving unfortunately means dodging or hitting potholes. Running into one could be damaging to your tire and rim. Here are some key points to follow to lessen your chances of damaging your precious vehicle:
1. Keep your tire air pressure topped up. Hitting a pothole with low tire pressure can lead to rim damage and will likely become a costly repair.
2. Two hands on the wheel. We have the most control of our vehicle when our hands are placed at 9 and 3 on our steering wheels. If a pothole is approaching and it is safe to steer around it, this position will give you the most control while steering around it.
3. Slow down and do not tailgate. Keep enough distance from the car ahead of you so you can have clear view of what’s to come on the road. Tailgating is dangerous as it is and adding potholes in the spring just adds to the potential damage you can do to yourself and vehicle.
4. If you’re going to hit a pothole, make sure you get off the breaks just before you hit one. This will reduce the pressure on the front suspension and allow the suspension to do its job when absorbing the impact from the pothole.
5. Report potholes. The city of Ottawa has an easy online system for the public to use to report potholes on the road. You can also call 3-1-1 or 613-580-2400. The information you submit can save others the headache of hitting dangerous potholes.
Check for Damages
The tires. It is important to have your tires filled with air to the proper specifications. If not, hitting a pothole could mean damaging the tire and rim Check for bulges along the sidewall of the tire and check for any tread tears. Having a damaged tire can lead to many problems and can be very dangerous.
The rims. Hitting a pothole hard could lead to bends, cracks or chips on the rims. Always check the rims very carefully because even a hairline crack may mean your rim is no longer safe for driving on.
Alignment and suspension. The suspension is there to absorb any impact the vehicle runs through. After hitting a pothole, the suspension and alignment can be thrown off. If you begin to feel vibration and/or pulling to one side while driving, best to take your car to a garage to have it checked out.
The body. Going over a large pothole can sometimes scrape the underside of the vehicle. Check to see if the exhaust, side skirts and bumper are still intact. A short visit to the garage may be a good idea if you suspect damage was done.
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