Niagara Gazette —
Tire and wheel damage is a big one. Tires suffer impact breaks in sidewalls from slamming into curbs. Wheels also can get bent from this type of carnage. If you’re experiencing steering wheel shimmy at all speeds, have the wheels checked for being bent. If a small bubble is starting to protrude out from the sidewall, have it checked. It may be an impact break starting to push out much like a hernia, rendering the tire dangerous & useless in need of replacement.
Based on the severity of this year’s winter, we can safely assume that potholes will pock the landscape throughout the countryside like “No Man’s Land” in WWI. I have already driven through some pretty nasty areas where these beauties reside. All I can say here is to slow down and take is easy when traversing one of these damaging roadway anomalies. What can you expect if you slam through a pothole? Well, depending on the severity of the offending-hole, the speed at which you are going, and the mechanical condition of your vehicle any one of these problems:
Tire/wheel damage — If the edge of the pothole is sharp, the tire can suffer an impact break in the sidewall to total failure and thus, blowout. The wheel can get bent. If a steel wheel, you MAY be able to straighten it at a repair shop. If an aluminum or alloy wheel, usually replacement, which can be very expensive.
Steering/suspension damage — Steering and suspension systems are put together with either ball & socket or pivot joints. In the case of severe shock from going through a pothole that’s deep and has sharp edges at a high rate of speed, usually at least the wheel alignment is negatively affected (knocked out) and needs realignment. If your steering /suspension system has in it an excessively worn ball & socket or pivot joint; the sharp jolt of going through the pothole can cause joint separation resulting in loss of vehicle control, if the component is simply worn, this accelerates wheel misalignment and thus, tire wear. If shocks or struts are worn, they can break causing clanging noises and/or loss of vehicle control.
Well that’s it for this year’s spring car care checklist!
‘Til next time ... Keep Rollin’"America's Car Show" with Tom Torbjornsen airs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday on WBBZ-TV.