Hitting a pothole is an unfortunate part of driving, but can driving over a pothole cause hidden damage?

Read below for a few areas on your vehicle you should check after you hit a pothole.

How Do Potholes Form?

Potholes form due to the compacted soil beneath the pavement becoming weakened or displaced. Potholes are more likely to occur during winter or spring months when water disrupts the base layers under the pavement. As vehicles drive over these weakened spots, the pavement begins to deform, crack, and give way, leaving a hole behind.

Tires & Rims

Running through potholes can cause damage to the tires and rims of the vehicle. Damage can include sidewall bulges, tread separation, flat tires, or bent or chipped rims.

Potholes can have a hard edge that compresses the tire against the wheel upon impact. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can lessen the impact against the rim.


Hitting a pothole can cause a variety of suspension problems, especially if it’s a hard hit. Some of the damage can include misalignment, broken ball joints, or damage to shocks or struts.

If you notice your vehicle is pulling to the right or left, unusual vibrations or just an overall poor ride quality, your vehicle’s suspension may be compromised.

Under the Vehicle

Deep potholes can cause damage to the undercarriage of the vehicle. Damage that can occur can include scrapes/dents/cracks to the exhaust, muffler, or catalytic converter.

If you notice your vehicle experiences loss of power, unpleasant noises, leaking pipes, or fumes spilling into the cabin or increased fumes outside, check under your vehicle for any damage.

Payne Collision Center

Payne Auto Group wishes everyone to stay safe on the road! If you’ve been in an accident, the Payne Collision Center is here to help with any auto repair that needs to be done! Be sure to get your vehicle checked out by our trained professionals and stay safe out on the road!

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