Pothole Damage And Your Automobile: Who Would Have “Sunk”? – Auto Therapy (Full Service Auto Repair) Geneva, IL 60134
Chicago has a reputation for having high winds and very unpredictable seasons. If you were born and raised in the Chicago land area, you have probably grown to love the uncertainty and excitement of the weather when the seasons decide to change. We all know that a Chicago winter can be brutal and the city streets pay for it after a season of snow plowing and salt. Spring makes an appearance and so do all of the potholes in the streets. Dodging the potholes of Chicago any time of the year is difficult. Your automobile has probably taken a nose dive at one point or another causing damage to your automobile. Below are items on the automobile that I have seen damaged after an encounter with a pothole:
1. Tire Damage- (Light Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, you may notice a “bubble” or “bulge” forming on the sidewall. This “bubble” or “bulge” is a crack on the inside structure of the tire that is leaking air into the final layer, the sidewall. The tire can blow out while driving if this is not addressed immediately and replaced.
2. Wheel/Rim Damage – (Light Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, we all feel the urge to jump out of the automobile to ensure our tire is not flat or damaged. The tire may appear to be ok, but if you hit the pothole with enough force you may have actually bent the wheel or rim causing damage.
3. Slight Bend in the Steering Linkage- (Light Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, you may have tweaked the steering linkage enough to throw off the “toe” adjustments (or how the tires are aimed) causing eventual wear on the tires.
4. Cracked Rack & Pinion- (Extreme Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, the only thing between the tires and the steering wheel is the rack & pinion which is made of aluminum. If the impact is great enough it can cause damage.
5. Damaged Wheel Bearings – (Extreme Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, if the impact is great enough it will cause the wheel bearing to start make noises while the tires are rotating.
6. Spindle Damage-(Extreme Impact)
After your automobile encounters a pothole, it will cause the spindle (the tire spins on this) to bend slightly and the car will either start to pull to one side or the alignment will be off.
7. Engine Cradle Movement- (Extreme Impact)
The engine cradle (on most cars) supports the engine, the Trans axle and the steering components and if it is hit hard enough it will shift it back to the side that was impacted. To resolve the issue, the cradle will need to be realigned along with the automobile itself.
Tony Rudny ASE Certified Master Mechanic
560 Lark St. Geneva, IL 60134
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