When is pothole season?
Pothole season starts during the winter and ends during early spring.
Why should you avoid potholes?
Avoiding potholes seems like a given, but by avoiding them you can save hundreds of dollars in damages to your vehicle.
If you have driven over potholes, here are a few things you should check on your vehicle after running over one:
Since tires make contact with the pothole they take most of the damage through the tread. There could be tread separation, sidewall bulges, and blowouts/flats that can likely happen due to running over a pothole. There is also no way of patching or plugging a sidewall, so a complete tire replacement would be needed.
Wheel & Rims
Wheel damage that can be caused by potholes is bent or dented rims and internal tire damage. Having vent or dented rims can cause air to leak from the vent that is in between the rim and the tire. A bent wheel can cause small vibrations while driving. These vibrations can then cause unnecessary wear to your tires.
Running over too many potholes can also lead to wheel bearing failure. Every time you run over a pothole your wheel bearing gets a jolt which can cause a small indentation to be formed. This indentation can then cause your bearing grease to not properly lubricate every area.
Another form of wheel damage that a pothole can cause is wheel speed sensor damage. When running over a pothole one of those sensors could be damaged in the process. If this happens, your ABS light can turn on or not function at all. It's a risk when it comes to driving in low-traction situations.
Exhaust pipes are in the undercarriage of your car. Larger potholes cause more damage to your undercarriage thus scratching. Scratches in your exhaust pipes can cause leaks, noises, and even power loss.
If you've run over a pothole and notice your vehicle pulling towards a certain side, your suspension or steering components may be bent or out of alignment. If this is happening to your vehicle, and you just purchased a new tire, this can cause your tire to wear unevenly and the tire won't last as long as it should.
Specific suspension system components that are impacted by potholes are:
Shocks and struts
Sway bar link
Control arm bushings