What Vehicle Components and Systems Can Be Damaged by Potholes?

November 25, 2021 10:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hitting a pothole can be a sickening feeling. You might have seen it and not had time to react, or it might have been a complete surprise. No matter the scenario, it can leave you with a feeling that your teeth are rattling in your head and a dreadful premonition that your car is damaged.

If you really hit a deep pothole at any speed, it is entirely possible that you broke something on your car or truck. Assessing the damage can be a headache, which is why you usually want to rely on an auto repair shop to make a diagnosis. That said, it’s helpful to know what parts might have taken some abuse. Read on for more tips about pothole damage assessment.


Your tires are going to suffer the effects of any impact with a pothole. If they’re underinflated, then the impact will be all the worse. Hitting a pothole with an underinflated tire can cause the sidewall to “pinch,” which could result in an immediate flat that necessitates a call to roadside assistance. It’s also possible for the impact with the pothole to separate the liner from the body of the tire, which is an expensive proposition to fix.

You can also damage the metal portions of your wheel. A big-enough impact with a pothole could mean that the rim gets damaged or bent, and a trip to the auto repair shop is in your future to determine the tire can even be driven on.


Your car’s struts are the main pieces of your suspension system—they handle most of the bounces and impacts of daily driving. As a result, it’s no surprise that they’re also going to bear the brunt of major impacts, like those with potholes. While this is normally not an issue, all it takes is one bad pothole to send you to the auto repair shop with a busted strut. They have their limits, and a big-enough hole in the road will cause serious damage to them if you’re not careful.

A bad impact can have other effects on your suspension, too. It can lead to broken ball joints, damaged shocks or even misalignment. If your car starts riding a bit funny after hitting a pothole, it’s time to bring it to the pros.

Exhaust system

Your exhaust system is one of the lowest points on your entire car, so it follows that it’d be the most susceptible to the bumps and bruises of the road. This intricate network of pipes can take a beating from speed bumps and potholes alike if you’re not cautious. If you hit a pothole deep enough and your car dips down towards the road, it could potentially dent or even rip a hole in the exhaust system, causing serious damaged that only an auto repair shop will be able to fix.

Your best way to combat pothole damage is to never experience it in the first place—slow down, and keep a close eye on the road. However, if your car has taken some damage, fear not—the team at Rivergate Muffler & Auto Repair is ready to fix things up and get you back on the road in no time!

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