Winter driving and specifically pothole damage can take a toll on your vehicle. Icy and unsafe driving conditions, road salt, and low visibility are just a few of the challenges that can compromise your driving ability and endanger your car in the winter months. Changes in temperature can also create hazards as roads thaw and refreeze, creating cracks that eventually turn into dangerous potholes. If you suspect a problem, contact Rafferty Subaru’s service department for winter service to check for typical pothole damage.

What is the main cause of potholes?

Potholes are caused by water that flows into cracks or gaps that appear in the roadway. As temperatures fluctuate throughout the winter, water thaws and then refreezes, forcing the cracks to widen. As cars and heavy trucks drive over these cracks, they create potholes by chipping away at the asphalt. Unfortunately, driving over them can also cause pothole damage

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Can potholes mess up your suspension?

Depending on how fast you are going, potholes can really mess with your car’s suspension. This is why it’s so important to check your car for pothole damage and to identify any issues with alignment. If the impact is strong enough, potholes could negatively impact your shocks or struts. Contact Rafferty Subaru’s service department for winter service to assess your car’s suspension. 

Do potholes damage alignment?

Driving over a pothole can absolutely damage the alignment of your car. If you notice that your car is suddenly pulling to the side when the wheel is straight, you probably have some alignment issues that you need to take care of. Just like hitting a curb too quickly, a pothole can knock the alignment out and you’ll need to get it corrected to avoid further pothole damage. Contact Rafferty Subaru’s service department for winter service to check out your car’s alignment. 

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How do I know if my car has pothole damage?

If you do hit a pothole, you should pull over as soon as you can to inspect your car for pothole damage. You will want to look for signs of damage to the wheel or the wheel rim, such as a scratched or bent rim or deflated or punctured tire. Depending on the depth of the pothole, you may have sustained a leak on the undercarriage of your car, and you’ll want to address this as soon as possible. When driving, listen for anything that sounds off or out of the ordinary. Also, make sure you are checking to see if the car is pulling in the wrong direction or the steering seems compromised. Call Rafferty Subaru’s service department for winter service to assess your vehicle’s tires for pothole damage

How do you prevent hitting potholes while driving?

The best way to avoid pothole damage is to be vigilant when driving. Put ample space between you and the car in front of you so you can see any impediment and have plenty of time to avoid them. Drive slowly and avoid driving through puddles, as these can often be much deeper than anticipated, even on the highway. If you are driving at night, be extra cautious and watch for darker spots on the road, as these can potentially signal the presence of a pothole.


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What do you look for after hitting a pothole?

If you suspect pothole damage, immediately check for signs of alignment damage. When your steering wheel is completely straight, make sure that your car is driving in a straight line. If your car tends to pull in one direction or another consistently, even when you are driving straight ahead, this is a surefire sign that your alignment is off. Check your tires for signs of damage, and as you are driving listen for abnormal or unusual noises that you haven’t noticed before. If any of these tests raise a red flag, contact Rafferty Subaru’s service department for winter service

Does insurance cover pothole damage?

Typically, collision insurance will cover pothole damage to your tires and car, so if you have collision insurance you should be able to recoup the cost of pothole damage to your vehicle. 
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