Yes, Potholes can not only cause a flat tire but also damage your tire rims. The belts or sidewalls of your tire can also be impacted when your car hits a pothole.
Pothole damage can lead to a potential nightmare like causing a flat tire since pothole presence can sometimes not be obvious until you hit the spot, it is an everyday road hazard.
If your car hits a deep pothole in the road a flat tire may follow, the result of hitting a pothole can make the tire cords weak leading to a blowout or a flat tire.
It can also cause more costly damage like altering your car’s suspension.
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What to do when you get a flat tire from a pothole?
It is quite frustrating how you can run over a pothole, and the most annoying part is that the damages from a pothole may not always be visible immediately.
So, what do you do when your tire hits that pothole and it goes flat?
The first thing that comes to mind is to call a professional mechanic or to take it to a repairer’s shop since it’s not ideal to drive on flat tires and that is well your flat tire repairer kits come in handy; you’ll be glad to do a DIY repair.
Here’s what you should do:
Park the vehicle
You should make sure that your car is parked on a flat surface, this is the first thing you should do; stop and park your car.
Brace the tires
Bracing helps prevent rolling of the car, place a piece of wood behind and in front of your tire, it also helps increase stability
Locate your spare tire and jack
Next, make sure your spare tire and jack are available
Position the jack
Make sure your jack is in the necessary position on your car to prevent damages, your owner’s manual will serve as a guide.
Jack up the car
Without lifting the car entirely, jack the car up while keeping pressure on the ground.
For you to access the lug nuts, remove any hubcaps or center covers
Loosen the lug nuts
Lose the lug nuts using the lug wrench
Remove the tire
Make sure that the jack is stable then jack up the car to the extent that you can slip the tire off with the case
Attach the spare tire
Place the spare tire on the wheel then position the lug nuts
Tighten the lug nuts
Remember loose lug nuts can cause a tire to fall, with your tire wrench tight the lug nuts in a clockwise direction
Inspect the lug nuts
While driving, it’s ideal to stop and make sure that the lug nuts are still tight.
What happens to your tire and car when you hit a pothole
In the dispute between potholes and cars, the pothole always wins.
Pothole damage can keep one in a state of frustration, you must repair any pothole damage on your car as soon as you see the fault even though sometimes a small bump or a temporary steering grip is the case.
If you hit a pothole the result can lead to the following;
- Wheel alignment
- Vehicle suspension
- Leakage of fluids
- Noisy exhaust system
- Engine damage
Apart from tire bulges, bent rims, and flat tires, there are other things to inspect and worry about your car’s wheel alignment.
You should know that a bad wheel alignment can lead to problems regarding how you handle your car, if the wheel is bent, the tire will not roll smoothly.
You’ll know your car alignment has hit a pothole if your tires are become suddenly worn on the in and out edges, or if your car becomes imbalanced that it starts pulling to one side or just when there’s a vibration in your steering wheel.
Pothole damage can come out of nowhere, invisibly waiting for you, no danger sign, but suddenly show up to attack your car as soon as you ride on them.
While this seems like one of those scenes in a horror movie, it is a daily experience encountered by every driver or car user.
Your car’s suspension system refers to all components that connect the car on the road.
Hitting a Pothole can damage this system and when your car’s suspension is damaged it can be dangerous as the vehicle will lose support and perform poorly.
Leaking of fluids
Ever wondered the cause of that fluid coming out beneath your car? Well, there’s no need to think too deep.
Yes! There has been damage. Some potholes are too deep that they will affect your car.
With enough force, a pothole will cause damage to your oil pan or some important undercarriage parts causing fluids to leak, hoes and lines can be punctured which might result in fluid leakage.
Noisy exhaust system
Your car exhaust is a perfect target for potholes because exhaust pipes are just along the undercarriage of your car.
If the pothole is deep, it can cause the bottom part of your car which is where the exhaust pipe is to scrape part of the road and will lead to a hole in it causing unpleasant noises.
There is damage to your car’s engine each time you drive into a pothole, these damages are not visible to the eyes but have a direct impact on the car and can lead to accidents.
Is it dangerous to drive with a flat tire from a pothole?
Yes, driving on the road with a flat tire is not an experience anyone would like.
Imagine you have an open wound on your left leg and you left it untreated, you are likely to go get more infected and cause more health complications to your entire body, it is the same as driving a flat tire.
A flat tire does not only affect the tire but can also cause damages to the car if you continue driving with it as a flat tire is a car with no balance, it is a major inconvenience for the car.
If you are stuck with a flat tire and you feel driving on it to a certain destination will be the solution to getting you out of there, then you are not making a good decision.
Not only does driving on a flat tire dangerously affect the car, but it may also cause other damage to your wheel, alignment, brakes, and especially your suspension and steering system.
Can a tire be repaired after hitting a pothole?
You stepped out to your car to head to a business meeting this morning and you bumped into a pothole, your tire got flat. Now what?
You can simply call a professional to inspect the tire if it’s safe to repair because while some tire damages can safely be fixed, in others the whole tire needs to be replaced.
A tire repair is only safe if the damage affects only the thread. It is important to know that if the sideline of the tire has been damaged, the tire will be replaced.
But if the steel belt within the tire is cut then the tire is no longer useful.
Punctures to the surface of the tire are usually irreparable because they come in contact with the road and because of this, it will eventually cause a blowout. You should replace it with no hesitation.
Very serious pothole damage can easily cut the lifespan of your tire. Immediately they can become worn or punctured especially if you repeatedly hit those unavoidable potholes any time you step out.
In worst cases, a pothole can damage your rim or make your car imbalance which will directly affect the car as a whole. Some tire damages simply cannot be avoided.
If you got a bent rim by a pothole this can be straightened by a professional mechanic, an expert can also balance or align your tires the hole will be filled with rubber and the filled area will be covered with a patch.
Trying to repair a worn tire is usually not worth your time and money. New tires will guarantee your safety while on the road. It is advisable not to drive on a damaged tire and immediately replace it.
Can you claim for a pothole damaging your car?
Yes, you can claim damages to your car if your car hits a pothole.
Hitting a pothole is considered a collision, and you can file for claims under collision coverage in your insurance policy.
This is where your collision deductible comes in; a deductible is the amount of money you pay out of your pocket before your insurance company starts paying for the cost.
Your rates might go up at filing an at-fault claim since a pothole damage claim is filed based on an at-fault accident.
Sometimes filing a claim will become irrelevant if the damage cost is lower than your deductible, to file a pothole claim is quite easy, but you should consider whether or not you should go ahead.
Since your vehicle is damaged as a result of hitting a pothole The government in charge of maintaining that road will be at fault and will be held responsible.
If maybe, your car broke due to other damages on the road, you won’t be compensated, for this, you’d need to file a claim on your car insurance policy.
Read here on insurance claims for tires.
How do I make a pothole claim?
In other to carry on with filing a pothole claim and be successful with it, you have to show proof of the pothole damage to your car. Here’s what you should do.
- Check the damage caused by the pothole
- Gather proofs
- Make a report
- Get repair quotes
- Submit your pothole claim
Check the damage caused by the pothole
The damage in hitting a pothole is often based on the speed at which you drive. The faster the speed the greater the damage.
As soon as you realize that a pothole may have caused damage to your car, do not hesitate to pull over, check for any visible damages especially to your wheels and tires.
If there is to be a problem, quickly get the car to the mechanic shop.
The date and time of which the incident occurred, witnesses, the location where it occurred, the damages you’ve checked in your car, all these are important details you should take note of.
Make a report
It makes sense to report pothole damages even if you don’t file a claim immediately, you simply need to inform the body responsible for maintaining the road about the pothole.
Get repair quotes
Meet at least 2-3 repair shops for a repair quote to have a detailed record then go with the cheapest cost; showing interest to repair your car could help in filing your claim
Submit your pothole claim
You intent to claim for pothole damage, kindly, write or call any contact you’ve made, make it known to them that you seek to claim for pothole compensation, don’t forget to add all your gathered proofs.