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Problematic Potholes



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I hit a bonejarring pothole on the way home from work. It was dark, so I couldn't see it with the glare from my glasses, combined w/bumper to bumper stop n' go traffic...(My eyes were on the road/and cars ahead of me, not the on the shoulder, which I failed to realized had started to develop some deep and bad potholes).

My tires are 7 mo. old BF Goodrich Precept tires (I am still not sure if they really are all-season or not, even tho' that's what it claims to be)

The tire pressure should be accurate since, I had them checked and serviced the week after New Years...

I just don't know if I should be worried or not. I didn't hear any "thumping" like a flat tire would sound, nor any real I guess "alarming sound". But should I be worried?

If any of you guys have read my old posts, I also had Toyota Dealership (uhmm...not quite sure if it's a deal), fix the catalyitic converter, new muffler, fix brake lights and labor to the tune of $1000, but since they made the mistake, and it was practically a 2 month process, they righted the wrong, and did it for free. I am also thinking they might have checked fluids and stuff for free (they wanted to make money off of it, but they had to do it for free). My dad got at least 3-4 letters from Toyota.

At my last Wal-mart oil change (Around Thanksgiving) they checked my fluids, and other things, but you know how that goes...

I just worry about things like this since I'm uneducated car-wise...any afvice would be appreciated default_smile

I managed to break a belt inside the tires once. I think it was a brick in the highway that caused it. Caused a kind of fluctuating droning sound when slowing down.

Big potholes can also dent rims. Do a visual inspection and look for a dent in the rim. If you do have one, chances are the tire may have suffered some damage as well. One way to check the rim concentricity would be to have the wheels spun and if they are out of round it will be noticeable. Hope this helps.

If the car doesn't act differently or sound differently after hitting the pothole - I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I've hit some that were big enough to bend steel wheels, through the alignment all out of whack, and blew out the tire - all were readily evident right after hitting the pothole.

Ghost and Bikeman have good suggestions - do a quick visual inspection for obvious damage and verify that the tire/wheel doesn't sound different running down the highway. If nothing seems out of the ordinary - you're good to go.

Fishexpo: Everything appears normal, from my pov, but I don't know cars, so could ther be something I'm not detecting?

Everything seemed fine, infact...I forgot about my hitting that pothole, until I read this post again...

so, I guess I shouldn't be worried?

If that is the case - no worries. Just monitor tire pressures on a normal basis (something that everyone should do anyway for safety reasons), note anything out of the ordinary and the conditions that caused it, and do your best to avoid those big potholes. Manufacturers understand that there are road hazards out there and engineer the car to take a few along the way.

Right. I'll be sure to keep my eye out for any potential leaks, or whacked out alignment.

Have you removed the tire(s) and checked the inside of the rims? Not all damages can be seen from the outside of the wheels.

If you were in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic i highly doubt you have anything to worry about unless it was like -95ºF or deep enough to jump into. In a car as small as the corolla you are likely to feel any damage to the tires/rims in the steering wheel (as vibrations) sometimes even before you can see them.

It is true that at a very low speed a deep pothole will cause little damage to a tire or wheel, but at any kind of speed it can definitely damage it. You would notice any abnormalities especially at higher speeds when the rotating tire will tend to bounce if one side has a dent or flat spot. If you have visually inspected all tires both sides and do not experience any bad effects while driving, chances are your tires are still good.

I will say that I was going around 30mph, stop n' go traffic. However, I washed my car today, and nothing caught my eye. (I know I don't know anything about cars) but, if nothing catches your eye, I will assume it's ok. Plus, I've been driving it around w/no ill effects so far...

I will say that I was going around 30mph, stop n' go traffic. However, I washed my car today, and nothing caught my eye. (I know I don't know anything about cars) but, if nothing catches your eye, I will assume it's ok. Plus, I've been driving it around w/no ill effects so far...

Sounds like you are good to go. Have you driven it at highway speeds with no detrimental steering or handling effects??

 

 

Nope. I don't use highways.

Nope. I don't use highways.

Then you have nothing to worry about. Continue driving as normal but keep the pothole possible damage in the back of your mind, so a few months from now if something on the wheels doesn't sound right, you will know why.

 

 

tonight i came across this thread on an eclipse forum i'm a member of.

http://club3g.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55486

the guy hit a pothole and severed the lower control arm from the lower ball joint.

of course this is a mitsubishi that was lowered, and lowering put additional strain on the lower arms and ball joint, but its not a bad idea to try to avoid potholes and hard bumps when possible and to inspect things from time to time.

Wow default_ohmy - that is pretty bad, about the second worse damage I've seen with just smacking potholes, if that was really the case. That person was also exceptionally lucky - as they said in their post - could have been much worse. Someone was definitely looking out for that person.

I would rather say he was extremely stupid for driving off when his steering was already clearly failing.

TO check for alignment, do I just let go of the steering wheel a little bit? Or hold on to it loosely?

TO check for alignment, do I just let go of the steering wheel a little bit? Or hold on to it loosely?

find an empty FLAT and LEVEL (no crown) peice of road or parking lot and at about 20 with your hands very near the wheel it should drive almost perfectly straight. some slight pull one way or the other is normal but it shouldnt be changing lanes by itself if you take your hands off the wheel for a few seconds.

 

 

tonight i came across this thread on an eclipse forum i'm a member of.http://club3g.com/forum/showthread.php?t=55486

 

the guy hit a pothole and severed the lower control arm from the lower ball joint.

of course this is a mitsubishi that was lowered, and lowering put additional strain on the lower arms and ball joint, but its not a bad idea to try to avoid potholes and hard bumps when possible and to inspect things from time to time.

I had a similar experience driving the first car I ever owned. I was driving a 1963 Pointiac Lemans and I was going over a very bumpy road. I hit a bump and the next thing I know the car steered straight to the right towards the sidewalk curb. I was lucky I did not have any fingers in the spokes of the steering wheel, because they would have been snapped off with the speed of the rotating steering wheel. The car came to rest against the sidewalk and I got out to assess the damage. What had happened was the top ball joint had snapped and the tire just rotated 90 degrees (basically top came down until the whole wheel was flat on the street with the hubcap facing down). I had the car towed to the local gas station and it was repaired. Sure is a scary feeling to lose total steering control while driving.

 

 

I hate potholes! Ive hit some pretty good ones, on accident, some are almost unavoidable, especially on the highway, and I hate when I hit the same one, a couple days later, lol. I just hope I dont pop a hubcap off, I just got new ones the other day! default_smile

I hate the sound of hitting a pothole too, even if your car maybe fine, it just sounds soo horrible.

Potholes in the dark are the worst. I usually watch the car in front of me or scan the road ahead to check for things in the road, or for potholes.

I don't understand why people spend so much time and money to lower their cars when it just makes them more susceptible to damage from things in the road or potholes.

You live in Michigan, get used to it.

Potholes are a fact of life, they only fix the roads in any major way in election years.

We have some of the worst roads in the country, and they are hard on cars.

That being said, we never got a flat or damaged a tire from hitting potholes, although we did get a slightly bent axle after several years of driving on bad roads on a couple of different cars.

You might as well get used to the fact that with pieces of road flying at your car, potholes, and trucks galore that you won't be able to keep your car as pristine as you did when you lived in Columbus, or at least it will be a lot harder to do so.

You live in Michigan, get used to it.

Potholes are a fact of life, they only fix the roads in any major way in election years.

We have some of the worst roads in the country, and they are hard on cars.

That being said, we never got a flat or damaged a tire from hitting potholes, although we did get a slightly bent axle after several years of driving on bad roads on a couple of different cars.

You might as well get used to the fact that with pieces of road flying at your car, potholes, and trucks galore that you won't be able to keep your car as pristine as you did when you lived in Columbus, or at least it will be a lot harder to do so.

It is a good idea to try and avoid the worst of the potholes, but, as you say, they are everywhere.