How to avoid damage from potholes

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Right now, it can be very frustrating driving on Indianapolis roads. Potholes are doing major damage to cars all over the city, but what can you do to help your car from taking too much damage?

News 8 talked to car experts to get their opinion. First, pay attention. Give yourself a little bit more room when following other cars, if they decide to swerve to avoid potholes. The distance can also if or when you need to move out of the way of pothole yourself.

Next, According to Lonnie Hinkle from Jiffy Lube says, do not hit your brakes. Hitting the brakes may make any sustained damage even worse. 

“One of the worst things you can do when you hit a pothole is hit the breaks,” says Hinkle. “If you think about it, when you hit the brakes the front of your car takes a nose dive a little bit. That’s weight distribution, that’s moving a lot of the weight of your vehicle to your front wheels. So, in essence, you’re just grinding the front wheels of your car into that pothole and that’s really bad. So, the best thing to do when you hit the pothole is to either coast over it and sometimes I might just very lightly tap the gas a little bit, just to take the weight off the front wheels.” 

How to spot a problem after hitting a pothole? Hinkle also says there are key signs that your car may have a serious problem. First, check your tires. If there’s a bubble most likely that tire is about done and needs to be replaced. Behind the wheel well, if the tie rod end, the lower control arm or strut assembly are bent that’s a major problem. 

Finally, watch for damage to the undercarriage. That would cause damage to the engine, oil pan, exhaust or even the bottom of the transmission. If your alignment is off, then going and getting it checked out is a good idea.