It's a misty night as you sail through the gloom. Ahead in the distance, there is a ghostly shape. As your eyes focus on it, you suddenly realize what it is.
Evasive maneuver right!
Brakes to maximum!
Prepare for impact!
It's too late.
You, my friend, have just hit a pothole.
While this account is rather more dramatic than the average encounter, potholes are an expensive fact of driving. An estimated $3 billion is spent annually on pothole-related damage to vehicles. And while you can technically send your city a bill for damage incurred due to a pothole, you have to be extremely detailed in documenting it.
Dodging the divots
When it comes to potholes, the best defense is avoidance. On the roads you're familiar with, try to pick the lanes or areas that are pothole-free. On unfamiliar roads, try to visually scan ahead a few hundred feet for any irregularities or dark areas. The further out you see a pothole, the less aggressive your avoidance maneuver has to be.
If weather is inclement, slow down to give yourself more time to react. When there are large puddles in the road, do your best to avoid splashing directly into the middle of them. They could be harmless pools of shallow water, Damage factors and indications
Given the sheer number of potholes, chances are that despite your best efforts, you'll hit one at some point. The amount of damage incurred when you do depends on the size of the pothole and the type of vehicle you're in.
Big potholes are hard to avoid and tend to be deep as well. If you drop into one, it can bottom out your suspension or throw your alignment out. In severe cases, tire, wheel, and exhaust system damage can occur. Imagine ripping off your muffler, denting your bumper and blowing a flat ... all from one pothole!
Ever see a low-riding car swerving furiously to avoid potholes? Their drivers know that the limited suspension and small tires give very little pothole protection. Larger vehicles such as trucks can withstand more abuse, but all machines have limits. Even if you think your vehicle can handle it, try to avoid the pothole. You never know if this will be the hit that somehow disables your vehicle.
If your vehicle has been damaged by a pothole encounter, you'll probably be able to tell. The steering wheel may shudder slightly at normal speeds, you may feel the vehicle pulling away from the centerline or the shocks may feel a bit looser. If things are really out of hand, you may feel a repetitive thumping noise, possibly an indication that there is significant tire damage (especially for low-profile vehicles). And if you hear what sounds like a race car that won't pass you, that's a sign that your muffler or exhaust pipe is punctured or missing completely.
Here to help
So who do you go to after rolling into one of these craters? Mike Duman Auto Superstore! Our state-of-the-art service facility is located in Suffolk, Va., a short ride from the Norfolk, Chesapeake and Newport News regions. We know Virginia winters can play havoc with our roads and cause headaches for everyone in the area. We offer a full array of repairs and maintenance that can solve not just pothole problems, but any other automotive issue you may be experiencing. Our factory-trained technicians are standing by to get you back on the road in no time. Call us today at 888-239-2076 for more information.