A typical pothole on the streets of Long Island, NY.

What to Do after You Hit a Pothole

Posted at Fri, Apr 19, 2019 9:00 AM

Potholes are an unfortunate part of life of every day driving, and what’s even more unfortunate about them is the damage they can do to your vehicle. It’s pretty likely that everyone will hit a pothole at one point or another, which is why it’s important to know what to do in the aftermath. There are some things you can check for yourself but there are other things that only a professional is going to find for you. In the interest of keeping your Toyota in top shape and road worthy during pothole season, we here at Westbury Toyota have put together a checklist of what you should do in the event that you hit a pothole.

Check for Obvious Problems First

After you hit a pothole directly (or even if you skim one) it’s important to check for the obvious problem indicators as soon as you possibly can. Once you’re off the road and your car is safely parked, you’re going to want to take a look at the following:

  • Tire pressure: Even if the tires look fine, it’s a good idea to check the tire pressure anyways to ensure that it’s still at the optimal level (if you’re unsure the optimal tire pressure, check the owner’s manual or for a tag on the inside of the driver’s side door).
  • Tire sidewalls: As the experts of Firestone Complete Auto Care point out, a bulge in a tire sidewall is indicative that immediate attention is needed.
  • Fluid leaks: Big potholes can damage your vehicle’s undercarriage, so if you’re seeing fluid leakage after hitting a pothole, it’s a pretty clear indicator that something’s wrong.
  • Strange sounding exhaust: If suddenly your car’s exhaust sounds off, chances are that the pothole damaged the exhaust system.
  • Bent rims: Dented or bent rims require quick attention, so be sure to check your rims for any sign of damage if you’ve had an incident with a bad pothole.

Document Damage

Some insurance companies do cover pothole damage, usually considered a single vehicle collision. In the event that there’s obvious physical damage to your car after hitting a pothole, explains Kelsey Anderson of KFVS 12, be sure to take pictures of the damage immediately for documentation for when you file a claim.

Take Your Car to a Professional

Regardless the size of the pothole you had a run in with, erring on the side of caution is advised even if you can’t spot any obvious signs of damage on your vehicle. Book it in as soon as you can with a trusted mechanic, like the ones found here at Westbury Toyota, and we’ll look over your car for any issues you can’t see or that might not be apparent right away. By nipping any potential disasters in the bud you’ll be saving yourself downtime and money in the future.

Prevent Any Future Pothole Incidents

To avoid any further pothole related problems, the best thing you can do is take preventative measures during your daily commutes. Always be sure to keep your tire pressure at the recommended optimal level. Properly inflated tires act as a buffer between your car’s rims and the ground, so they’re your first line of defense. A second preventative measure you should take is to be sure to leave enough space between you and vehicles ahead of you so that you have more time to spot potholes when driving. Lastly, always drive at slower, safer speeds during inclement weather. It can be hard to judge the depth and size of potholes when it’s raining. Utilizing extra caution during poor weather can give you more time to recognize potholes before it’s too late.

Recovering from a Pothole Incident

While we here at Westbury Toyota earnestly hope our friends here on Long Island never have the bad fortune of hitting bad potholes, we recognize that it’s probably going to happen at some point for all of us. In the event that it does, following our checklist above can make any problems that arise from this unfortunate incident a little bit easier to overcome.

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