Hitting Curbs and Potholes

Winter brings more hazards for driving. The freeze/thaw cycle wreaks havoc on pavement, causing cracks and potholes to form, which can cause big problems with today’s low profile tires. The snow and slick conditions also make it easier to slide into a curb and damage your tire, wheel, or worse.

One morning I was given an Accord that I was told had hit a pothole. I have a feeling that they probably hit a curb, because there was a lot of damage. The right rear wheel was pushed backwards and turned to the side, so I had to steer to the right just to drive straight.


The reason for this was one of the suspension arms had gotten bent from the impact. The obvious fix would be just to replace the one arm, but if you think about it, the force that bent that arm also traveled through the wheel, bearing, and knuckle, so really more needs to be replaced.


Later that same day an HR-V came in that had hit a curb and wasn’t quite driving straight. I was going to take it on a test drive but noticed the same warning lights flashing that the Accord had, because the car could tell it wasn’t driving and turning right. I pulled it in to look at, and the most obvious damage was to the right front wheel. I couldn’t see any obvious damage to any of the other front suspension components, so I had one of the body shop techs look at it. He said it probably needs a bearing, knuckle, lower control arm, and outer tie rod end. Just one little slip on the road can cause a lot of damage.

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