What damage can potholes cause to vehicles?

Wondering whether to fix that pothole that’s sprung up on your premises? Or perhaps you’re simply curious about the risks potholes pose to motorists. Either way, in this article we’re going to take a close look at the kind of damage potholes can cause to vehicles. Fasten your seatbelts for this one – you may be surprised at how much havoc they can cause!

Common pothole damage

Naturally, the extent of the damage caused by a pothole will vary significantly depending on the size, depth and the speed of the vehicle travelling over it. However, even small potholes can cause £1,000s worth of damage, particularly to smaller or lower-riding vehicles (like sports cars). Here are a few of the most common types of damage vehicles sustain as a result of potholes.

Wheels and tyres
Tyres are the only part of a vehicle in contact with the road surface (unless something has gone drastically wrong, that is), so they bear the brunt of the force when a vehicle runs over a pothole. If the motorist is lucky, they’ll escape with just a damaged or punctured tyre. However, if their vehicle has low-profile tyres, the rubber often fails to provide an adequate ‘cushion’ between the road and the wheel, resulting in significant damage to the rim. Cracks, buckles and bends are all commonplace, and could set the motorist back thousands.

The next point of contact is the suspension. When a vehicle runs over a pothole, the shock can be that severe that springs and dampers can sustain damage. Control arms and tie rods can be bent out of shape or, worse, crack and fail entirely. If one of the vehicle’s ball joints are already on its last legs, this can essentially detach the wheel from the car, potentially causing an accident. At the very least, running over a pothole can knock a vehicle’s alignment out of spec, causing odd handling characteristics and impaired fuel economy and braking performance.

Engine and chassis
This only really applies to lower vehicles, but is nevertheless worth mentioning. In severe cases, the vehicle’s oil sump or chassis can come into contact with the pothole, potentially causing an eye-watering repair bill. Although SUV owners won’t have to worry about this, drivers of sports cars, or classic and modified vehicles might.

Got potholes? Speak to the experts at A&MT

If you have a pothole (or multiple) to fix, get in touch with our pothole repair contractors today. With nationwide coverage, we can assist no matter where in the UK you’re based. We also offer road surfacing services if you need more in-depth repair services.