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How Potholes Can Damage These 5 Car Parts

Educational  ·  July 13, 2020

How Potholes Can Damage These 5 Car Parts

Potholes and Your Car

People pay billions yearly to fix damaged car parts due to potholes. Potholes form when water penetrates cracks in the tarmac. Eventually, as the weather changes and warms the water, and people drive over the cracks, the result is enlarged cracks. 

You may encounter these annoying potholes on your daily commute. Even with your best efforts to avoid them, you’re bound to hit one once in a while. Some holes are significantly deep that they can cause severe damage to the car. If you happen to hit one, here are the specific parts you should examine.

Parts of the Car Commonly Damaged by Potholes


Tyres are the first line of contact with potholes. They are meant to be the only parts of your car to touch the road. Once you hit a pothole, check if you have tread separation or sidewall bulges if you do not have a flat tyre already. 

You may still drive a car with a sidewall bulge or tread separation if the case is not that serious. Driving with a blown-out tyre, on the other hand, is impossible. As a side note, make sure you correctly inflate your tyres. 


Curb rushes are "normal" on rims when the unfortunate happens. But hitting a pothole leads to a far worse outcome. Your rim either gets cracked, chipped or bent. When a rim is bent, it will not roll smoothly, and it will require an alignment. Chips are visible because you are bound to notice a part of the rim missing. They are equally easy to replace. The impact can also crack the rim so bad that the only remedy will be replacing it entirely. 

Be cautious; just because you can't see the crack doesn't mean there isn't one. Sometimes, road grime and brake dust conceal the cracks.


Car suspension is built to absorb impact to make the overall driving experience a smooth one. However, once you hit a pothole, especially if you are driving at high speeds, the suspension can suffer. The impact can either cause suspension misalignment or damage the shocks, brake ball joints, and the struts. 

Misaligned suspension causes the car to pull in one direction and pushes the steering wheel off-centre. Handling can become loose. If you notice your tyres wearing out unevenly, then a bent suspension is the likely culprit. When you notice the car leaning to one side, it can be a case of broken ball joints, struts or shocks, which will require replacing.


The undercarriage of the car is more susceptible to damage when you hit a pothole, especially if it's a deep one. When you run a pothole, and the vehicle is bottomed out, the undercarriage may be scrapped leading to a dent on the exhaust pipe, catalytic converter or muffler. The result is the loss of power and unpleasant sounds while driving. Other more severe problems may be harmful pollution from the holes in the pipe, which poses a grave health hazard.


Lower cars have exceptional handling abilities due to their road-hugging property and are more stable. However, this can also be a downside in some instances. When you hit a pothole, you risk damaging your bumper or side skirts. Body damages will not impact performance most times but will affect the look of the car, which is essential to some people.

Repair Damaged Car Parts Promptly 

Fortunately, in Australia and New Zealand, potholes aren't big enough to cause severe damage. Just ensure you have properly inflated tyres and an aligned suspension and you'll roll right through them. 

Should your car require some auto parts, visit and search its classifieds for some of the best-value auto spares you can find. And you shouldn’t miss the free tools it features in its website, including the automotive directory and Car Part Finder, in case you run into any issues with your car. Get quality car parts at affordable rates, only at CarPart!

By Eric Anyega

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