Potholes have been around since the wheel was invented. While there’s no good way to hit a pothole, here’s a few tips to help minimize the damage to your wheels, tires and suspension when faced with a crater in the road.
* Don’t swerve to avoid the hole. Swerving can create a situation where the front wheel and tire on the car can impact the edge of the pothole at an obtuse angle, which could do more damage than hitting it squarely.
* Don’t brake just because you see a pothole: Heavy braking compresses the front suspension of the car and will have a tendency to force the tire and wheel down into the pothole, instead of “gliding” over it.
* Pay attention to your tire pressure. Keeping tire pressure consistently at the manufacturer’s recommendation will help protect your vehicle’s wheels and tires from being damaged from pothole impacts.
No matter how carefully you drive there’s always the possibility that you may eventually have a flat tire on the highway. If you do, drive slowly to the closest safe area out of traffic. This may further damage the flat tire, but your safety is more important.
If you feel a sudden vibration or ride disturbance while driving, or you suspect your tire or vehicle has been damaged, immediately reduce your speed. Drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road. Stop and inspect the tires for damage. If it’s under-inflated or damaged, replace it with your spare or call AAA.
Drive carefully this pothole season!