8 Car Parts Potholes Can Damage

Think about when you dress nice and you are in a good mood, ready to go out of home by car. You expect it is a smooth trip but unfortunately, your car faces a lot of potholes. You may feel uncomfortable but your car is actually angry since these potholes damage to car.  Let’s check out 5 car parts which are damaged by potholes and how to avoid it.

potholes damage to car
There are 5 car parts which are damaged by potholes. Source: BBC.com

What Is Potholes and How It Forms?

Potholes in the easiest way, they are the imperfections on the road surface that occur when soil compact beneath pavement becomes weakened or displaced. It is usually the result of water in the underlying soil structure and traffic passing over the affected area. 

can hitting a pothole damage your car
Potholes are the imperfections on the road surface that occur when soil compact beneath pavement becomes weakened or displaced. Source: CitySpidey

Roads are particularly likely to form potholes in winter and spring months, when ice and lots of running water disrupt the base layers under the pavement. As cars drive over these weak spots, the pavement deforms, cracks, and chips away, leaving a hole in the road surface. They start out as tiny cracks but become bigger and bigger by time if they are not fixed right away.

The answer for the question can hitting a pothole damage your car is yes. It actually damages your car more than what you thought. Let’s find out which parts your car has to suffer from hitting potholes.

8 Car Parts Potholes Can Damage Your Car

1. The Tires

The tires are considered as the only part that sticks to the road so it is not surprising that  they’re susceptible to pothole damage. The potholes usually have sharp, hard edges  that compress the tire against the wheel on impact, slicing the rubber or snapping the belts that hold a tire together. Driving on blown out tires is not easy going but you can 100% repair it. However, a tire with a sidewall bubble or separated tread needs to be replaced right away. Potholes damage the tire and the result is really serious, therefore, take your car to the garage immediately when you face that damage.

pothole damage to tire
The tires susceptible to pothole damage. Source: AudiWorld

2. The Wheels

Another part which causes potholes damage to car is the wheels. It happens when the potholes are deep and big, so the impact is strong which leads to the beak or the twist of the wheels. Hard angles in potholes apply impact force to wheels in ways they weren’t designed to handle, leading to bends, chips, or cracks. A bent wheel won’t roll smoothly and may not be able to form an airtight seal with a tire. The cracks can be subtle hairline fractures along the wheel circumference or in one of the spokes. Brake dust and road grime can make cracks difficult to spot, so give your wheels a thorough clean and inspection to check. The cracked wheels can not be repaired so if your wheels are cracked, take your car to the mechanic. 

pothole damage to car suspension
Potholes cause the break or the twist of the wheels. Source: Autoblog

3. Suspension

Suspension is the system of tires, tire air, springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two. Suspension is designed to absorb impacts and provide a smooth ride, but there’s a limit to how much it can handle. Sudden, jarring hits against potholes can cause a variety of suspension problems, including misalignment, broken ball joints, and damaged shocks or struts. As pothole damage to car suspension, it leads to a lot of serious problems when you are driving a car. The suspension system must be checked frequently to make sure the smoothies of driving and avoiding any other damage.

4. The Control Arm

When the suspension bounces, the control arms maintain the vertical position of the wheels. The impact of a serious pothole may bend a control arm. The most common result is your steering wheel off centre. It affects how your steering reacts. Since the symptom is not clear, you may not notice those symptoms immediately but your tires will begin to wear unevenly. 

can hitting a pothole damage your car
The impact of a serious pothole may bend a control arm. Cre: Shutterstock

5. Stabiliser Bar Link

A stabilizer or sway bar prevents the car body from leaning too much and keeps the vehicle stable when driving in turns. Most of the cars have one stabiliser bar in the front and another separate stabiliser bar in the rear suspension. The part that connects the outer ends of the sway bar to the suspension component is called a stabiliser bar link. In most cars a stabiliser bar link has two small ball joints at each end. They attach to the ends of your sway bar and help eliminate side-to-side sway when your car is cornering. A big pothole can wear the socket in a swift motion, and you’ll hear a knocking noise from the front of your car over bumps. The stabiliser bar link therefore can break altogether. The link can flop around, potentially jamming up your steering or puncturing a tyre.

6. The Exhaust

Another perfect target of potholes is exhaust pipes. Since exhaust pipes run along the undercarriage of a car so deep potholes damage to car easily. You may experience a loss of power or unpleasant noises if there’s a hole in your exhaust system. The result of deep potholes which cause a car to bottom out and scrape the undercarriage against the pavement, potentially denting or ripping a hole in the exhaust pipes, muffler, or catalytic converter. The leak pipes may let the exhaust fumes into the cabin, posing a potential serious health hazard.

potholes damage to car
Exhaust pipes run along the undercarriage of a car so deep potholes damage to car easily. Source: Shutterstock

7. The Strut

A very important part of the car which potholes damage to car is the strut. Front struts are the main suspension components which absorb impact from potholes. When your car runs into the large potholes, the strut may not be able to take the force. The strut’s hardened shaft may bend, causing alignment issues, steering concerns, and an ill-tempered suspension.


8. The Body

If you drive a low or sport car, the possibility your car body is broken or twisted is really high.  the lower a car is to the ground, the better it handles, but cars that sacrifice ride height in pursuit of sportiness are more likely to be damaged by potholes. Potholes can scratch your car and leave scratches on your car paint. The scratches are something you never expect but it is possible to face it. If you drive a low, sporty car, use its sharp handling to safely maneuver around any potholes you see.

Sum Up

There are 8 parts of your car which potholes damage to car. They are tires, wheels, suspension, control arm, stabiliser bar link, exhaust, strut and body. The damage to these parts is huge and most important, it affects your driving experience and your health. You can’t help but hit the potholes, you can reduce the number times you hit it and reduce the damage by slowing speed. Moreover, maintaining your car at the garage is a good choice to make sure any damage will be removed on time.