The state of roads in Indiana has long been a running joke. But when it comes to driving, running into potholes is no joke.
We’ve been there.
Especially in the wintertime, hitting the unexpected pothole (or chuckhole, depending on your outlook) can possibly be devastating to your vehicle…or at least your tight schedule.
Beck’s Auto Center, your trusty auto repair shop in Lafayette, IN, is here to arm you with knowledge in case you have a habit of hitting too many bumps in winter!
When Time Is Not On Your Side
Let’s start with the more annoying scenario. Many times, we feel invincible inside of our vehicles. We can soar at superhuman speeds, slosh through mud and muck without getting the least bit dirty, or we can haul heavy things with practically no effort on our part.
So it comes as a surprise to many when they hit an unseen pothole on a snowy day and end up on the side of the road with their hazard lights on.
- Care for your tires – When it comes to a snow-covered road, you have few options to avoid bursting a tire or knocking your wheels out of alignment. The best thing you can do is make sure your tires are in good condition and are properly filled and follow basic safe driving practices.
- Watch your speed – Don’t drive too fast when you can’t see the road surface well. When you can’t avoid a pothole, you can at least hit it at a lower speed, thus lessening potential damage. And make sure to hold the wheel tight and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you.
- Avoid road construction – Lastly, avoid construction zones whenever possible. There are plenty of ways that construction sites can be damaging to your vehicle, and taking a detour is the best way to avoid this hazard.
Out of Whack
The less immediate issues with bumpy roads involve the systems on your car getting “out of whack.” This can mean a lot of things. Depending on how hard you hit a bump or if you deal with bumpy roads regularly, there are plenty of ways your car can suffer from excessive jostles.
One main bumpy issue is alignment problems. There are plenty of ways your vehicle can get out of alignment, and most of the time, you aren’t likely to notice when it’s off.
In most cases, it’ll be awhile before you see things like uneven tire wear…so you’ll want to get your alignment checked regularly to make sure you aren’t shortening the life of your tires or putting unnecessary strain on steering or suspension parts from the extra drag of misaligned wheels.
Suspension and Steering Parts
While it’s not entirely common, there is a possibility that you hit a real doozy of a pothole and cause suspension or steering parts to get bent out of shape, become loose, or entirely break off.
If you have an older car, that increases the likelihood of this happening. As vehicles age, even if you’re very careful to avoid bumps and drive carefully, you still have the effects of the weather, road debris, and the general wear and tear that comes from years of ownership.
This sets you up for a real bumpy ride…or a sudden stop, should you hit a nasty pothole in the dead of winter. Particularly if you have issues with rust, you could literally have a wheel fall off!
If this is the case for you, then you’ll definitely want to make sure to get your vehicle inspected at an auto repair shop in Lafayette, IN.
Your Trusty Auto Repair Shop in Lafayette, IN
We’ve gone over just some of the issues you can face when you encounter one of the many, dreaded potholes that pepper our roads during the cold season.