It is a proven fact that potholes can cause damage to your car, even if you react on time and partially avoid them. And, although some damage is visible immediately, it may take some time to realize that you cannot manoeuvre your car as well as before.

In general, two factors directly influence the type and severity of damage caused by potholes in your car:

1. The speed with which you hit the pothole;

2. The depth of the bump.

Year on year, many UK councils have to pay out compensation for claims where potholes have caused damage to cars. Now you can find out which councils received the most claim requests and which of these paid out the most compensation to claimants in 2018-2019. 

So, what kind of damage can potholes really cause? What should you do if you hit a pothole?

What damage can potholes cause?


When it comes to potholes, the most vulnerable part of your car is the tyres. Among the most common problems caused by the bumps are the bumps on the sidewall, the tread spacing or a puncture. You may also experience uneven tyre wear as a result of the alignment shifting due to the bump, or damage to the tyres in the case of a deep bump.

How does this damage cause a bump?

A lump in the sidewall occurs when the tyre hits a pothole, and the impact separates the (normally) hermetic lining of the tyre from its sidewall, allowing air to seep into the tyre's body (or body). This causes a bubble to be created at the sidewall that could burst at any time. Similarly, the separation of the tread occurs when, when hitting the hard edge of a pothole, the tyre is compressed against the wheel, cracking the rubber. And, since the tyres of most modern cars are made of aluminium, it is easy for dents to occur if the bump was deep.

What should you do if you appreciate damage to your tyres?

If you appreciate uneven wear on your tyres, it is better to be aware of the situation. However, if you notice any other damage to your tyres, it is recommended that you change them as soon as you can.

If the tyres are dented, try replacing them sooner rather than later. A dented tyre makes the seal between the tyre and the tyre poor, which can lead to air leaks and punctures.

How can you prevent potholes from causing tyre damage?

Apart from completely avoiding getting over a pothole, the easiest way to avoid pothole damage is to make sure your tyres are properly swollen.


The wheels are also vulnerable to damage due to potholes. Potholes can cause the wheels to twist, crack or crack, which will prevent the wheel from forming a tight seal with the tyre. Also, a crooked wheel will not roll smoothly. It should be mentioned that it is not always easy to see if your wheel is cracked since the cracks can be very small, be in one of the spokes or be covered by brake dust and dirt from the road.

Another potential problem with the wheels has to do with its alignment. Hitting the hard edge of a pothole can shake your steering system, causing poor wheel alignment. You may only notice this damage when your car swings to one side or the other, or when the address does not respond as it used to.

What should you do if you notice damage to your wheels?

Fissured wheels or cracks have the potential to become a serious problem, so it is best to replace them completely. Twisted wheels can sometimes be repaired. If you suspect your wheels are misaligned, for safety reasons, it is important to have them checked and corrected quickly.

Steering and suspension

The suspension softens the bumps in the road, so you don't notice them. However, a sudden impact with a bump can cause the suspension to get hit, causing a number of problems. Signs that there is a problem with the suspension include: the car tilts in one direction; loose driving sensation; uneven tyre wear; or unusual vibrations and sounds.

How does this damage cause a bump?

Potholes cause damage when the initial force of the impact with the bump travels through your tyres to the steering and suspension system components (e.g. shock absorbers, springs, steering joints, control arms, etc.). Repeated bumpy shocks can accelerate the speed with which your steering and suspension system wears out.

What should you do if you notice steering damage and suspension?

Most steering and suspension problems can be solved by replacing the worn or damaged part. Since damage to the steering and suspension systems can jeopardize your safety, it is recommended that you have them look at it quickly.

Chassis, body and exhaust:

Cars with low driving height handle better but are more likely to be damaged by potholes. Cosmetic damage caused by potholes includes scratches on bumpers and side skirts. The most serious damages include scratches along with the chassis, which cause rust and leaks or holes in the exhaust pipes, mufflers or catalytic converters. If the exhaust pipes are damaged, a lot of noise and possibly a loss of power will be generated. It is also very likely that the exhaust will begin to expel harmful contamination, possibly including exhaust fumes in the cabin inside the vehicle, something potentially serious for your health.

What should you do if you appreciate damage to the chassis, body and exhaust?

If you notice a problem with the exhaust, it is recommended that you fix it as soon as possible for the risks to health and the environment. Leakage from the chassis should also be investigated and repaired. However, there is no need to rush to repair cosmetic damage to the bumpers and side skirts.


Published by Daphenee Plaisir