Billings Has a TON of Potholes
How Bad is it to Hit one of Them?
They’re more common in the spring, but they happen whenever the weather changes. We’re talking potholes. As the streets age and crumble, they get more and more common. And they cause a lot of damage!
So what happens if you hit one? What happens when there is damage that you can’t see? Here’s what you should be aware of, and how to respond when you have suffered at the hands of a hole in the road.
How Potholes are Formed
Just a quick word here on how seeming hard as stones asphalt even gets potholes in the first place. Over time, little cracks form in the roads. Just like everything that’s exposed to the elements. In the changing seasons, snow melt gets into these cracks, and when the temperatures drop at night, the water freezes and expands. That expansion pushes on the asphalt damaging it further, and as vehicles drive over it the pavement is broken loose. The next night, it all happens again until soon a hole forms.
Immediate Damage from Potholes
Naturally you’re going to try to avoid hitting these things the same way you would avoid hitting any other obstacle in the road. But there are times when they sneak up on you, and to avoid a collision you go over them. Some won’t do more than thump, but many will cause issues.
Hitting a big pot hole can cause your tire to slam into the far rim of the hole. This sudden smack can cause the tire to rupture or break free from the rim. You’re suddenly left with a flat tire at best, and most likely a busted wheel to go along with it. Your alignment is almost certainly going to be off.
If your car sits low to the ground, you may even have some bumper damage as the front of your rig smacks into the pavement. In the rear of the car, if both wheels went through, you may notice that your exhaust system hit the asphalt as well.
If there is visible damage, change the tire and get it to a mechanic (for mechanical damage) or to Big Sky Collision Center (for body damage) to determine the extent. Driving on a damaged vehicle will lead to further problems down the road.
Unseen Damage from Potholes
The problem with collisions is that there is damage that happens to the vehicle that is unseen. It lies beneath the body, so unless you have diagnostic tools, or you take the whole vehicle apart, you’re not going to be able to find it. There are a lot of areas of the car that can be damaged, they include:
- Frame Damage – When you get out, frame damage is sometimes detectable if your door sticks.
- Exhaust System Damage – Usually the exhaust system sits low and is the first to scrape.
- Engine Damage – That sudden impact can jar your heavy engine loose.
- Wheel and Axle Damage – Even without a cracked rim, other parts of the wheel and axle system can be wrecked.
- Body Damage – Most body damage you can see, but some you can’t.
How Big Sky Collision Center Helps
We hate to see anyone get in a wreck. They’re scary, they’re inconvenient, and they can cost a lot of money (even with insurance to help!). Even the most diligent drivers can hit a pothole, and we’re here to help you out.
As the best auto body repair shop in Billings, we have expertly trained technicians that can restore your vehicle to full factory safety standards. That means after a wreck (even a wreck with a pothole), bring your damaged vehicle to us for a free estimate on what it would take to restore it.
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 with questions on the repair process.