7 Tips to Avoid Pothole Damage To Your Car


We’re pretty sure that almost everyone driving on our Malaysian roads has experienced the “wonders” of the pothole. Sometimes, our roads become pockmarked with holes, both big and small, and these in turn can cause significant damage to your car and your tires. That feeling when you go over a pothole and hear that sickening crunch to your car? We’ve all been through that. 

Image from:  Lite 98

Image from: Lite 98

But what is it that causes potholes on the road? Potholes often occur after water, which has seeped into the cracks and crevices of asphalt roads, which causes the dirt and gravel layers to be pushed around. Once the sun heats up the road, there are holes formed under the surface, and eventually the surface layer of asphalt collapses, perhaps due to cars or huge lorries driving over and leaves gaping potholes that are feared by all. Unfortunately, the cost of those repairs caused by potholes are typically the driver’s responsibility.

Hitting a pothole with your car can cause a great deal of damage to your car, particularly to the tires, rims, suspension and chassis. And while you can often try your best to avoid the potholes, sometimes, it’s not possible at all. Because of this, it’s important to take precautions. Here are 7 tips to help you minimize your car’s damage when you come across a pothole.

1. Slow down

The faster you’re driving when you hit a pothole, the worse the damage is likely to be. Keep your speed down and stay off seams at the edges and centre of the road, a key spot where potholes usually develop.


2. Don’t brake

You’ll want to avoid braking as you hit the pothole because this can actually cause more damage to your vehicle. Try and slow down as much as possible if contact with a pothole is inevitable. Let off the brakes the moment before you hit the pothole allowing your car to absorb the blow. 


3. Prepare for puddles

When you see a puddle in the middle of the road, it’s impossible to know how deep that crater will be, so be very cautious as a deep pothole can cause severe damage to your car.


4. Hold tight

Potholes can cause a violent jolt to your car, so it’s very important that you have a solid grip on the steering wheel. Otherwise, your car can veer into the next lane or you can lose control entirely. Hold the steering wheel tightly. Hitting a pothole with a loose grip can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.


5. Leave space

Should the car in front of you fail to avoid a pothole, you’ll give yourself the time to react and avoid the same fate if you leave a good deal of space between you and the other driver. Beware of cars or trucks suddenly swerving into your lane to miss a pothole.


6. Be extra careful at night 

While large, some potholes are notoriously hard to see, especially at night. It’s good to slow down and always make sure your headlights are clean.


7. Keep your tires full

Properly inflated tires will give your car added protection from potholes. Always maintain the proper air pressure in your tires. Always have the tires, wheels and suspension components of your car inspected if you frequently drive over pothole roads or if you suspect damage.

Image from:  AAA Exchange

Image from: AAA Exchange

If you find yourself unable to avoid potholes, you might want to check the damage as soon as possible. Some signs include bulging tires, bent rims, dents, leaks and scratches that may lead to your car rusting. Also, take notice of your car swaying or bouncing as this may be a sign that the absorbers or suspension is damaged. 

What do you think about these pothole-avoidance tips? Leave a comment below!