Tips and Tricks

How to Minimize the Impact of Potholes on Your Car

Canadians often say that we have two seasons in our country, winter and construction. Also that here in our country we have to drive on what’s left of the road, instead of the right.

construction season

Thanks to our constant freeze-thaw weather (rinse and repeat all year-long), our weather certainly does wreak havoc on our roads. Construction to keep up with cracking and potholes is ongoing.

Soon, the snow will thaw to reveal potholes, and the fixing will begin. In Alberta, this construction continues up until the snow falls again.

funny pothole meme

In the meantime, we tell sad but true jokes to make light of a problematic situation.

Yet reality is, this issue of weather versus roads is a serious matter, as hitting potholes with your car can affect the safety and health of your vehicle.

I think we’ve all been there, hitting that hole in the road and gasping at the alarming jolt the occupants feel. We parents carry some precious cargo!

Then the dreaded panic sinks in as deep as the hole itself, that you’ve just done some serious damage to your vehicle.

I always take this worry one step further though and start stressing that perhaps the last hit or the few times before caused just a little damage, and it’s building up to a colossal break. That maybe I don’t even realize it growing, and it’s now like a time bomb waiting to show itself. Unless there’s an obvious sign or fee of damage, would I even know? Again, my precious cargo and the investment that is a car itself causes all sorts of anxiety.

An easy solution to prevent car-crippling craters is most likely not in the cards, yet there are some ways to help lessen the impact. The following tips are essential since we ultimately have to deal with potholes in the best way we can.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from OK Tire. As always, all opinions are my own.

How to Minimize the Impact of Potholes on Your Car

Stay in Control

Ride control, or a vehicle’s ability to stop, turn and handle, is crucial for comfort and stability. Before hitting the road during the pothole season, make sure to get your ride control tested properly. A “bounce and jounce” test is not sufficient – you’re better off having a certified technician check things out thoroughly, including a road test and inspecting your overall suspension components.

OK Tire can do a full inspection of your vehicle to assess and repair any issues.

Eyes on the road

Seeing the pothole with enough time to react can keep you from hitting it in the first place. A smart way to manage potholes ahead is watching the cars in front of you. Are they swerving to avoid something? Keep a safe distance behind the car in front to notice breaks in the pavement and other driver’s reactions.

Fact: Bad handling increases the reaction time of your vehicle to respond to any command you give it. Make sure to stay on top of your overall suspension components, this will help avoid hitting potholes. Keep your suspension in check that way when you need to stop, turn or swerve your vehicle will respond in an instant.

Take a break on the brakes

Our natural reaction is to brake when we see a pothole, thinking this will minimize damage. In fact, applying the brakes can cause your wheel to lock and worsen the overall impact. This can make your tire hit the inside of the pothole, causing a backward force on the wheel which can lead to damaged struts. Since struts are an essential part of your suspension and a pricey repair, this is an element you don’t want to damage.

Remind yourself to coast and slow down instead of hitting the brakes – it’s less effort anyway!

Over, not around

Sometimes the best approach is to drive right over the pothole. If you straddle the pothole with your vehicle, it’ll end up in the center of your vehicle avoiding the wheels entirely. This will help you avoid damaging important components and costly repairs. Drive over it instead of around to stay safe.

The only time you don’t want to drive over a pothole is if it is big enough to damage the underside of your car or if there’s something sticking out of it.

Preventative Maintenance

As always, preventative maintenance is your best bet for minimizing damage. If everything is working as it should be and up-to-date, you won’t further damage any broken or old components. Keep your tire pressure at a proper level, get regular checks and stay in tune with the state of your vehicle to keep things functioning at the best level.

As the largest independent tire and auto service retailer in Canada, OK Tire experts have the experience and knowledge to help you make the right decisions for your vehicle, no matter what the year, make or model. With over 300 locations coast to coast, OK Tire is 100% Canadian owned and operated. Customers can count on national support and the personal service of a local owner who lives in, shops in, and supports their community.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from OK Tire. As always, all opinions are my own.

 

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