(CONSUMER REPORTS) — Over 3-million drivers experience pothole-related damage to their cars each year. Everything from tires and rims to shocks and struts – costing over 3-billion dollars!
Sometimes you can’t avoid a pothole until it’s too late.
Consumer Reports Tire Expert has some advice.
“Slow down as much as possible without catching the driver behind you off guard,
hold the wheel firmly, drive through the pothole, and if something feels amiss after
that, then you can pull over and inspect the tire,” says Ryan Pszczolkowski, Consumer Reports Auto Expert
When you get out of the car, inspect the tires for any cuts, blisters, or bubbles; if you see anything, it’s important to replace the tire right away. Driving on it could lead to a potentially dangerous situation like a blowout.
And could a new trend in tires be leading to more pothole damage?
“While low profile tires can give you some performance gain in steering fields and
cornering grip, they are more prone to pothole damage,” Pszczolkowski said.
In a Consumers Report demo, a 16-inch tire’s taller sidewall offered a greater margin of clearance between the road and wheel, and less severe sidewall flex than the lower profile 18-inch tire.
If the potholes in your life are unavoidable, when it’s time to buy a new car or SUV, consider a package that comes with taller sidewall tires. CR also says to ask your retailer about a tire road hazard warranty, which some will add for free.
Some keys to preventing pothole damage on your car are keeping your tires properly inflated and having adequate tread depth.