Up to 12 months warranty on all refurbishments. Contact us to learn more 

Monday, 10 July 2023

How to Tell If Your Car is Damaged from a Pothole

Are potholes causing damage to your car? Learn how to identify pothole damage and how alloy wheel repair and refurbishment can fix your wheels. Read on to find out more.

Pothole-ridden road in need of repair

Signs of Pothole Damage

  1. Uneven tyre wear: If you notice uneven tread wear on your car's wheels, it could be a sign of pothole damage. This can indicate misalignment or suspension issues caused by rough roads.
  2. Steering wheel vibration: Feeling vibrations or shaking in the steering wheel while driving is another potential sign of pothole damage. It suggests that the impact from hitting a pothole has affected the smooth operation of your car's steering system. This can indicate that your wheel has become buckled or unbalanced due to hitting the pothole.
  3. Tyres leaking air: When hitting a pothole, cracks or punctures in your tyres can occur. Cracks can also occur in your alloy due to the pothole's impact. If you notice a constant loss of air pressure or have to inflate your tyres regularly, it could result from pothole damage. These cracks or punctures can compromise the tyre's/alloy's integrity and may lead to a dangerous blowout while driving.

These signs should not be ignored as they can lead to further damage if left unaddressed. Regular inspections and prompt repairs are essential for maintaining the performance and safety of your vehicle.

Visible Tyre Damage

  • Look for bulges, cuts, or punctures on the tyre sidewalls.
  • Check for uneven wear patterns on the tread.
  • Inspect for bent or cracked rims.

Two tyres side by side, one with a cut and one with a bulge in the sidewall.Example of a cut and bulge in sidewall

Steering Wheel Misalignment

If you notice that your steering wheel is off-centre or crooked when driving straight, it could be a sign of steering wheel misalignment. This can occur after hitting a pothole or rough roads, causing damage to the suspension and throwing off the alignment of the wheels. If left unaddressed, it can negatively affect your car's handling and compromise safety on the road.

Another potential indication of steering wheel misalignment is if your car pulls to one side while driving on level ground. This could mean that a pothole impact has affected one of your wheels, leading to an imbalanced alignment and affecting how your car handles on the road. If you experience either of these signs, a professional must check your car for any necessary adjustments or repairs to avoid further issues with your suspension and ensure optimal safety while driving.

Vibrations or Shaking

If you notice your car vibrating or shaking while driving, it could be a sign of pothole damage. This can occur when the wheels are out of balance due to hitting rough roads or large potholes. It may also indicate suspension problems, such as worn-out shocks or struts. To ensure safety and prevent further damage, it is important to have your car inspected by a professional technician if you experience these symptoms.

Suspension Problems

If you notice that your car is bouncing excessively or feels unstable while driving, it could be a sign of suspension problems. Rough roads and potholes can take a toll on your suspension system, causing damage to components such as shocks and struts. Additionally, if you experience difficulty in controlling the steering or feel an unusual looseness in the wheels, it is crucial to have your suspension inspected by a professional mechanic. Ignoring these signs may lead to further damage and potentially unsafe driving conditions.

Actions to Take if You Suspect Pothole Damage

Inspect Your Tyres

  • Check for visible signs of damage, such as bulges, cuts, or uneven wear. Pay particular attention to the sidewalls.
  • Measure the tyre pressure using a gauge to ensure it matches the recommended level provided by the manufacturer.
  • After inspecting your tyres for any visible damage and checking the tyre pressure, the next step is to listen for any leaks after inflating the tyre.

Check for Wheel Misalignment

If your car drifts to one side while driving on a straight road or the steering wheel is off-centre, it may be a sign of wheel misalignment. Another indication could be uneven tyre wear, where one side of the tread is more worn than the other. To confirm this, have a professional mechanic perform an alignment check to ensure your wheels are properly aligned and prevent further damage.

Pay Attention to Vibrations

When assessing potential pothole damage to your car, paying close attention to any vibrations you feel while driving is crucial. Vibrations can indicate issues with the wheels, tyres, or suspension system that may have been caused by hitting a pothole. If you notice unusual vibrations, you should get your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

In addition to inspecting your tyres and checking for wheel misalignment, paying attention to vibrations is essential in identifying pothole damage in your car. Vibrations can indicate underlying issues with various components of the vehicle's suspension system or wheels that could have been caused by hitting a pothole. Consulting with an experienced mechanic will help diagnose and address problems before they worsen.

Look for Suspension Issues

When checking for suspension issues caused by pothole damage, carefully examine the shocks and struts for any signs of leakage or damage. Look for uneven tyre wear and rough ride quality, indicating potential suspension problems. Listen for clunking or knocking noises when going over bumps, which could suggest damaged suspension components that need attention. Remember to seek professional assistance if you notice any of these issues to ensure your car is safe to drive.

Inspect the springs in your car's suspension system to identify any signs of sagging or breakage. A visually noticeable difference in height between different corners of the vehicle may indicate a damaged spring. Pay close attention to how your car handles while driving; if it feels excessively bouncy or unstable, there may be an issue with the suspension that should be addressed promptly by a qualified mechanic. By being vigilant about potential pothole damage to your vehicle's suspension system, you can prevent further complications and maintain optimal safety on the road.

Getting Pothole Damage Repaired

Visit a Reliable Mechanic

When identifying pothole damage in your car, visiting a reliable mechanic is crucial. A professional inspection can uncover hidden issues that may not be immediately apparent. Trusting an experienced mechanic ensures that all potential problems are thoroughly assessed and addressed, giving you peace of mind.

A reliable mechanic will have the expertise to identify and diagnose any wheel misalignment caused by potholes. They will use specialized equipment to measure and adjust the angles of your wheels, ensuring optimal handling and preventing further damage. By getting a wheel alignment from a trusted professional, you can restore the stability and performance of your vehicle after encountering potholes on the road.

Getting Your Wheels Professionally Repaired and Refurbished

After encountering potholes on the road, it's not just your car's suspension system that can suffer damage. Your wheels may also be affected, leading to issues such as wheel misalignment, bent rims, or even cracked alloy wheels. Fortunately, some professionals specialize in alloy wheel repair and refurbishment, such as Rolling Rims.

Rolling Rims is a trusted alloy wheel repair and refurbishment specialist that can help address the damage caused by potholes. They offer a range of services to restore your wheels to their original condition, ensuring your car's safety and aesthetic appeal.

One common issue caused by potholes is cracked alloy wheels. If you notice any cracks or fractures on your wheels, you must get them repaired promptly. Rolling Rims specializes in cracked alloy wheel repair, utilizing welding techniques to fix the damage effectively. Their skilled technicians have the expertise to assess the severity of the cracks and apply the appropriate repair methods. However, we always advise that a crack repair is a temporary fix, and you should look at replacing the damaged alloy as soon as possible.

alloy wheel being welded by rolling rims

In addition to cracked alloy wheel repair, Rolling Rims also offers alloy wheel straightening services. Hitting a pothole can easily cause your wheels to become bent or out of shape, leading to vibrations while driving. With their advanced equipment and techniques, Rolling Rims can straighten your wheels, restoring their balance and ensuring a smooth and safe driving experience.

alloy wheel being straightened by rolling rims

If you want to give your wheels a fresh look, Rolling Rims also provide full alloy wheel refurbishment services to make your wheels look like new.

Restore your wheels today.

Get your alloy wheels looking like new again with our repair and refurbishment services.

Get a Wheel Alignment

Getting a wheel alignment is important if you've recently hit a pothole. Signs of misalignment include uneven tyre wear and pulling to one side while driving. A professional wheel alignment will help prevent further damage and ensure your car handles correctly on the road.

In addition to preventing future issues, getting a wheel alignment can improve fuel efficiency. When properly aligned, your wheels roll smoothly without any unnecessary resistance or drag. This means your engine doesn't have to work as hard, resulting in better gas mileage for your vehicle. Don't wait until the signs become more noticeable; schedule a wheel alignment appointment with a trusted mechanic today.

Replace Damaged Tyres

Replacing damaged tyres is crucial to ensure the safety and performance of your car. Here are some signs that indicate it's time to replace your tyres:

  • Deep cuts or bulges on the sidewalls
  • Uneven tread wear across the surface of the tyre
  • Excessive vibration while driving
  • Low tyres pressure despite regular inflation

If you notice any of these signs, getting new tyres for your vehicle immediately is important. Ignoring damaged tyres can lead to further complications and put you and others on the road at risk. Whilst having your alloy wheels repaired and refurbished, Rolling Rims can advise and supply new tyres to keep you safe on the road ahead.

How To Report a Pothole

Using the Report Pothole on the governments website you can find what local council deals with pothole you have discovered. It will then direct you to the correct page to start your report with the local council.

Motorway or Major A-road

You can report a pothole on a motorway or major A-road in England by calling National Highways on 0300 123 5000 or visiting their website.

Rolling Rims employee removing an alloy wheel from a Range Rover ready for alloy wheel refurbishment

Why Wait?

Rolling Rims makes alloy wheel refurbishment simple, offering collection from your door or in-store drop off.