How to avoid costly damage from potholes


As our wonderful English summer gives us rain, storms and some sunshine it is always handy to know how to deal with any weather situation as we all know by now our summer has been far from a dry one.

Potholes are found on many roads across the UK and can be costly if you hit them at speed. Over time hitting them can cause damage not only to your tyres but to your engine too. The IAM has put together some suggestions on how to avoid the pesky potholes.

  • Leave a bigger cap between you and the car in front. This will give you a greater chance of spotting an approaching pothole.
  • Watch for the movement of other vehicles. Other drivers may give clues to an approaching pothole such as slowing down or manoeuvring around them.
  • Look for puddles. Ice can cause them to grow larger, and in warmer months deep puddles can mean a pothole lies below.
  • Avoid sharp braking if going over a puddle – this can cause more damage to your vehicle.
  • Hold your steering wheel firmly. This will help you keep your vehicle straight and avoid the pothole taking you off course.
  • Ensure tyres are inflated properly. Having too much or too little air in your tyres can cause more damage when going over a pothole.

How to spot pothole damage

  • Tyre sidewalls that are bulging or cracking can be caused by potholes. Have your tyres checked by a specialist as they could need replacing.
  • Wheel alignment. Hitting a hole at high speeds can cause your vehicle’s wheels to become misaligned. If it’s pulling to the left or right, it’s worth getting the alignment checked.
  • Wheel rims. Check the rims for dents or other damage, especially on modern vehicles with aluminium rims.
  • Any chips in your windscreen can be made worse by potholes, causing larger cracks that will need treatment or a full-windscreen replacement.

Read the IAM full report here

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