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What Kind of Damage Can Potholes Do To Your Vehicle?

It’s that time of year again!

While you’ll always find a pothole or two around the Edmonton area on any given day, the winter thaw is prime time for these pesky holes to appear almost everywhere.

Potholes can spell trouble for your vehicle!

When a tire rolls over a pothole, it drops down and then has to roll out. The damage caused by potholes occurs due to the impact as the tire exits the hole.

The extent of damage depends on the size of the tire and the pothole and the speed of the vehicle. For instance, smaller tires tend to experience more damage, while longer potholes will cause more damage.

Now that you know exactly how potholes can damage your car, let’s look at the type of damage they can do:

Signs of Pothole Damage to Your Vehicle

There may be times when you can roll over a pothole, apologize to your car, and suffer no damage whatsoever.

However, in order to avoid costly repairs, it’s important to know if your vehicle has suffered any damage due to a pothole!

Visible Damage to Your Tires or Rims

When your rims suffer from a sizeable dent due to potholes, your tire is likely damaged as well. While a flat tire is a solid indication of pothole damage, it’s important to closely inspect your tires even if they are not deflated.

Look for abnormal bulges or bubbles along your tire sidewall, which can indicate that the inner lining has been damaged. This damage can lead to costly repairs or a dangerous tire blowout.

In this case, it’s important to have your tire repaired by a professional technician as soon as possible.

Fluid Leaks Under Your Car

Deep potholes can cause damage to your vehicle’s undercarriage, leading to fluid leaks and the potential for rust formation.

Have the vehicle inspected and repaired whenever you notice any fluids pooling under your car before it becomes a serious and costly problem.

Unusual Noises From the Exhaust System

Potholes can also cause damage to your vehicle’s exhaust system, but you are more likely to hear the issue than to see it.

Damage to the exhaust system can lead to long-term issues with your engine. 

Hidden Damage From Potholes

Auto Service Worker Checking Car Under Carriage Looking For Potential Issues.

Not all damage caused by potholes is obvious! Here are some hidden damages you may not be aware of:


A vehicle’s shocks are necessary to ensure stability when driving over a pothole but if all four of your shocks don’t work together or are damaged, you could be facing uneven tire wear and decreased fuel efficiency.

To check and see if your shocks are damaged, pay attention to whether or not your car is swaying while making turns or if your car seems to sink back while accelerating.

These are signs of damaged shocks and even damage to your suspension system.


Potholes can also cause unseen damage to your vehicle’s alignment.

You’ll know your alignment is off when you find yourself constantly wrestling with the steering wheel while your car is pulling you in another direction.

While a misalignment may not seem like a big deal, it can lead to uneven wear on your tires and increase the chances of you getting a flat.

Your wheels should be aligned at least once a year, but when it comes to driving over particularly nasty potholes, you should have this looked at right away.

Pothole Damage Prevention in Edmonton

Of course, you can easily prevent pothole damage by not driving over potholes. However, this is easier said than done in the Edmonton area!

Sometimes potholes are unavoidable, but you can circumvent potential damage to your vehicle with the following tips:

  • Never hit your brakes before hitting a pothole. Try to slow down first and let off the brakes right before you hit the pothole to allow your car to absorb the blow.
  • Hang onto the steering wheel tightly. Loosening your grip can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Pay attention to puddles at the end of winter. They may look shallow, but the water could be concealing a massive pothole that can damage your vehicle.
  • Be sure to maintain proper air pressure in your tires.

Most importantly, always leave lots of room in front of your vehicle so that you can see the road ahead. When it is safe to do so, you can always move around the pothole to avoid hitting it.

Ready for Pothole Season?

With all of the care in the world, sometimes pothole damage is unavoidable. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want the problem corrected sooner rather than later!

Our professionals at Park Muffler have seen plenty of pothole damage and are here to offer recommendations as well as carry out any necessary repairs.

From new tires to wheel alignments, we have you covered!

Contact us today for more information or book your appointment online.


Save time at the shop by booking ahead.



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  • Serving Sherwood Park, Edmonton, and area since 1979
  • 25-bay service centre
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  • Same day service for most repairs and maintenance
  • Open Saturdays

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