Pothole season is among us & it has only just begun. Here in Thunder Bay, we are no strangers to bad road conditions & with the weather cycles we’ve experienced this winter, we are in for some interesting road conditions this spring.
GAME TIME DECISIONS… MAKE THE RIGHT ONE
While avoiding potholes altogether would be ideal for your vehicle, it’s not always safe or ideal to swerve around them. You should only drive around potholes if you have the time to safely change lanes, you can also plan your route around them if there are particularly bad ones you come across everyday. It is also important to know that if you swerve but end up hitting the pothole at an angle it can actually be worse on your suspension than slowing down and driving over it head on.
GIVE YOUR VEHICLE A FIGHTING CHANCE
Avoiding potholes altogether is virtually impossible, so here are things you can do to help avoid damage.
Fight your instinct to hit the brakes, slowing down & releasing your brake pedal before coming in contact with the pothole will ease the impact on your vehicle’s suspension.
Having proper tire pressure gives you the best chance at avoiding damage to your vehicle. You can find out what the proper pressure is by checking the manufacturer's specs located on the edge of your driver’s door & checking your tire pressure monthly.
JUST LIKE YOU, YOUR VEHICLE NEEDS A CHECKUP
For most of us, we won’t be able to plan around or brace our vehicles for every pothole… sometimes they come up out of nowhere or road & traffic conditions don’t allow for any sudden adjustments. A spring full of bumpy rides or any particularly bad hits are good reminders of the importance of regularly checking your tire alignment. Tires becoming misaligned are an example of unseen damage that can result from connecting with potholes and can lead to quick and uneven wear of your tires.
Potholes can also affect your vehicle’s suspension, body, wheels, & undercarriage. A bad enough hit can happen quickly but can cause a lot of damage, lots of times it’s damage we can’t even see. By bringing in your vehicle for service at the recommended intervals- every 6 months or 8,000km, whichever comes first, you can ensure any issues or damage caused are identified.