AAA offers tips to avoid costly pothole repairs
Nearly every motorist knows that sinking feeling after hitting a really bad pothole.
AAA says drivers should listen to the voice that says “pull over” after hitting a big pothole — especially if the car is making unusual noises.
“Even if the damage isn’t as obvious as a flat tire, vehicles can end up with bent wheels or damaged suspension parts,” said Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services at AAA East Central.
This winter’s wide temperature swings have taken an early toll on U.S. roadways — and drivers are paying a steep price. AAA advises motorists to take proactive steps to avoid costly repairs caused by hitting potholes:
- Inspect the tires: Properly inflated tires can act as a “cushion” when hitting a pothole.
- Look ahead: Make a point of scanning the road ahead for potholes to improve reaction time.
- Slow down: If a pothole cannot be avoided, reduce speed safely without abrupt braking.
- Beware of puddles: Puddles often disguise deep potholes.
- Recognize noises/vibrations: A hard pothole impact can dislodge wheel weights, damage the tire or wheel and even break suspension components. Any unusual noises after a pothole hit should be inspected immediately.
- Check for a spare: Many newer cars do not have spare tires. Check to see if your vehicle is equipped with a spare, and make sure to regularly check its PSI.
Potholes form when moisture collects in small holes and cracks in the road surface. The moisture expands and contracts when temperatures go up and down. This breaks up the pavement and, combined with the weight of passing cars, eventually results in a pothole, according to AAA.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .