5 car parts that can be damaged by potholes


For a Nigerian driver, the fear of potholes on the road is the beginning of driving carefully. Check out the car parts that can be damaged by potholes!

With the heavy downpour of rain that has been falling recently across the states, cars are now having a hard time running on the roads. Potholes are being spotted at every detour, making the roads non-motorable for motorists. For a Nigerian driver, the fear of potholes on the road is the beginning of driving carefully. These potholes are one of the most challenging problems encountered on the road. They aren't friendly with cars as they can damage cars and tyres and in most cases, cause accident.

You might wonder how these potholes get to form. This post on Naijacarnews will be providing the answer to that and at the same time, list the car parts that potholes are likely to damage.

Let's get started.

How do potholes form?

When water enters beneath the asphalt pavement, it freezes and expands there. The asphalt pavement will expand in the process, become weak and then begin to crack. And as vehicles pass over the weakened spots, the road materials will start to break and create potholes. Water weakens the soil that's under the asphalt pavement while vehicles plying the asphalt road applies the loads that pressurize the road to give way for potholes.

Potholes come in different sizes and shapes. As vehicles continue to ply over the pothole, it will become larger or deep.


Welcome to Nigeria - the land of potholes!

How do potholes affect drivers?

Potholes are known to wreak havoc on vehicles, which sees Nigerian drivers spending heavily to fix their cars. They are also one of the major causes of a road accident. The rainy season is a worst-case scenario as water cover up the potholes making it impossible for drivers to see them. This is what they always get to deal with, coupled with expensive repairs.

So if you're driving on a road riddled with potholes, here are the car parts to check, to see if they've been damaged and needs repairs.

5 car parts that can be damaged by potholes

1. Tyres

The tyres are the only contact a car has with the road so they're the first car part that takes the hit from potholes. When a tyre bumps into a pothole, it can experience tread separation or sidewall bulges. They occur as a result of the hard edges of the pothole, which presses the tyre against the wheel when it comes into contact with it.

The impact can cut the rubber or break the belts that are used to hold the tyre. And when the tyre blows out, driving with it becomes risky. A tyre with a separated tread or bubble in the sidewall demands instant replacement. Low profile car tyres are likely to be damaged by a pothole. To be on the safe side, ensure you inflated your tyre with the correct air pressure.

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When a tyre bumps into a pothole, it can experience tread separation or sidewall bulges

2. Suspension

Car suspension reduces the friction between tyres and the roads and provide better handling and ride quality but it has a limit. Hitting the pothole on a daily basis can cause various suspension problems such as misalignment, damaged shocks or struts, and broken ball joints. A misaligned suspension will knock the steering wheel off-center, pull the car towards one direction, and experience loose handling and tyres wearing out unevenly.

When you experience all these, it may be pointing to damaged strut or shock absorber and broken ball joints. While you may not likely identify a damaged suspension correctly, take the car to an expert in auto repairs if you observe any of these signs.

3. Wheels

Wheels weren't made to take in the force when tyres hit the hard edges of potholes because they will crack, chip or bend. When the wheel bends, it won't be able to roll smoothly and may not likely seal the tyre to the rim. For the chipped area, it will be noticed as they appear like a part that have gone missing around the rim. Brake dust can hide cracks on the wheel so it's advisable to inspect the wheels and clean them. Sometimes, a bent wheel can be fixed but a cracked or chipped wheel can't be repaired. It will have to be replaced.


Wheels weren't made to take in the force when tyres hit the hard edges of potholes because they will bend or crack

4. Exhaust

With the way exhaust is fitted under the car, it's an easy target for potholes. When car's bump into deep potholes, the undercarriage will scrape against the asphalt road and may likely dent the exhaust pipe, catalytic converter or muffler. When this happens, one may detect unpleasant noise coming from the exhaust pipe. Also, the exhaust fumes will start coming into the cabin, posing a danger to passengers inside the car.

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5. Body

It's true that cars whose frames are lowered to the ground have better handling than cars with higher ground clearance. However, they are most affected by potholes. A sports car that bumps into a pothole will end up damaging its side skirts or bumpers. Though it doesn't affect the car's performance, it will affect the appearance. If you drive a sports car, it's best to carefully maneuver any pothole you come across while on the road.


 A sports car like the Bugatti Veyron will end up damaging its side skirts or bumpersif it bumps into a pothole

An aligned suspension and properly inflated tyres will help you roll through potholes. Also, be on the lookout for potholes so you don't end up with a damaging car part that will drain your pocket.

>>> Want more car tips? Check out our tips and advice section

Jane Osuagwu


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