Watch out for pothole season

March 18, 2015 08:27 AM

As a driver, you have to be on the lookout for many possible obstacles you could encounter in the road. One of the biggest dangers is potholes. While these bumps may seem like a minor inconvenience, they can actually cause significant damage to your ride. 

What causes potholes? 
Potholes may come about for a variety of reasons, but among the most common is harsh winter weather. The Michigan Department of Transportation explained that as snow and ice melt, the resulting water soaks into the pavement through existing cracks. Should the temperatures drop below freezing again, that water becomes ice and expands, raising sections of concrete and leading to more serious breaks. Although teams of workers may be attempting to clean up the streets as these divots occur, the unpredictable weather and sheer number of new potholes means there will almost always be something disrupting your car's path. 

How extreme is the damage? 
When your automobile runs into a pothole, you may be faced with some damage. Some of the most common problems involve tires and wheels, according to The Baltimore Sun. These are the parts of the car that most often come into contact with potholes, and as a result they are susceptible to harm. 

AAA Mid-Atlantic reported that many motorists are seeking help with poor tire alignment, bent rims and similar issues that stem from a run-in with a pothole, according to the source. Deep potholes can even cause damage to the frame of the car. Should a vehicle dip and hit the pavement, the front or rear could be dented, and it may even impact the car's undercarriage. 

What can drivers do to avoid problems?
There may be times when running into a pothole is unavoidable. However, drivers can take steps to reduce the amount of damage and prevent more problems from happening in the future. Start by reporting a pothole to the proper authorities. It may take some time, but passing on word of a fresh divot will ensure that it receives attention later on. In most cases, you can go online and simply submit the address. 

The next thing you should do is make sure any issues that stem from a pothole are taken care of. While a bad bump may seem like a mere inconvenience, it could have affected the tires or something else under the hood. Let an auto repair franchise take a look and ensure everything is running smoothly for the rest of spring. 

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