Tips for Spring Potholes

Spring brings April showers, May flowers, and big fat potholes!

As vehicle owners, this can be a dreadful time of year. Traffic, heat, and moisture causes asphalt to expand, while our particularly harsh Northern Ontario winters cause it to then dramatically contract. This expansion and contraction eventually creates cracks and holes; water gets into these areas and makes them bigger and bigger until voila…your car bottoms out!

Millions of Canadian drivers suffer from pothole damage including punctured tires, bent wheels, and damaged suspensions. Hitting even just one pothole can knock your vehicle out of alignment, which makes it difficult to steer and causes irregular tire wear, meaning you could need to replace your tires earlier than otherwise necessary.

While it’s obvious, the best way to avoid pothole damage is to avoid potholes all together. We know, we know….this isn’t always possible, especially here, so here’s a few tips:

  • If the pothole is unavoidable, slow down as much as possible before you hit it, and release the brakes at the last possible moment. Braking shifts the weight of the vehicle forward, making your car heavier in the front, so hitting the brakes when you’re in the pothole will make the impact worse and cause more damage.
  • Be careful when you’re driving in heavy rain and avoid deep puddles whenever possible – you never know if there’s a massive pothole underneath.
  • Proper vehicle maintenance – there are lots of things you can do to keep your vehicle properly maintained, but in terms of pothole damage – focus on your tires.
  • Tires that are properly inflated can handle the impact of a pothole much better than over or under inflated tires.
  • Have your alignment checked regularly, and consider having your tires realigned twice a year. It’s easy and convenient to do it when you’re switching over your winter/summer/all-season tires.

May 18th, 2018