by Angie’s List Staff
Potholes plague streets this time of year. If you have the misfortune of hitting a pothole head on, you should worry about more than just your tires. The impact delivers a shock to your entire vehicle that can cause damage to steering and suspension.
Here are three signs that your vehicle should get checked out by a trusted mechanic:
* Low pressure: Tires must maintain optimum pressure to ensure proper operation. If you hit a pothole, tire pressure might be affected. Routinely check the pressure in your tires and monitor their appearance for signs of problems, like bulges or blisters on the sides. Spots of rust on tire rims may signal that your rims have been bent, which will also lead to pressure leaks.
* It’s out of line: If your vehicle pulls to one side when you’re trying to drive straight ahead, your alignment has likely been jolted out of whack. Proper wheel alignment is important for the lifespan of tires. It also ensures safe handling of the vehicle.
* Lack of control: If you feel your car swaying or rocking during turns, bouncing quite a bit or if you bottom out on the road after hitting a few potholes, the shock absorber and suspension may be damaged. The suspension system is designed to give you a smooth ride. When you strike a pothole, especially at highway speeds, the entire system is immediately jolted. Over time, the springs in the shock absorbers become less resilient, leading to a rougher ride and less responsive steering.
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