The joy of the snow finally melting away, the weather finally warming up, and spring arriving is often cut horribly short upon hitting that first very large, very deep, and very jarring pothole.
Unfortunately, potholes are a given this time of year, and we have to deal with them on our roads every single day. From bitten rims to busted tires and snapped suspensions, and even cracked mufflers, potholes can do a number on your vehicle. We want to make sure your vehicle stays on the road (and out of the potholes), so we put together a few tips and tricks on how to avoid potholes.
This is a good rule of thumb anyways, but if you are on a particularly bad patch of road that you can see is cracked and uneven, slow down. “Give yourself time to avoid a pothole should you have to. Also, going slowly will ensure you don’t accidently swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid a punctured tire”, says a sales representative at Fifth Avenue Auto Haus.
Driving through water/puddles can be fun (don’t lie, you know it is). However, during the spring thaw, you’ll want to avoid large expanses of water as you never know what might be lurking beneath. Of course, if the puddle is unavoidable, see rule No. 1: slow down and approach with caution.
Keep your tires properly inflated
By keeping the right amount of air in your tires, you will help you vehicle survive an encounter with a pothole. With the right amount of air in the tire, there is sufficient “bounce” and cushion between the rubber and the rim, which will help give your tire a fighting chance if it falls victim to a pothole. You will find your vehicle’s specific tire fill rating on the inside of the driver’s door.
Keep your headlights clean
Good visibility is key when avoiding potholes. You want to see what’s coming up way before you get to it. Ensuring your headlights are bright and clean at all times during the spring thaw is key for good visibility. If you’ve installed aftermarket headlights that are brighter than our OEMs, make sure they’re pointed correctly by parking your vehicle directly in front of a wall so you can see where the light line falls (this will also ensure they are even without you having to go blind staring at them).
Do not brake hard if you hit one
This isn’t really an avoidance tip, but more of a “what to do afterwards” because, let’s face it, we’re all going to hit one at least once this spring. So, if you do hit a deep pothole, do not slam on the brakes. This will only lock up all the components that are already under stress from the impact of the pothole. Not only that, but you could potentially cause an accident as the person behind you might not be expecting you to hit the brakes so hard and suddenly seemingly for no reason. If you have to or want to brake, then do so lightly.
Potholes are the worst thing about spring, but if you follow the above tips and tricks then you may come out of this year’s thaw unscathed with all four rims/hubcaps intact and your tire repair kit still safely stowed and unused in your trunk.