Damage Your Car?
I was driving my Mazda5 to work when a pothole came out of nowhere. I avoided it with the front tire, but nailed it with the rear. Ever since there’s been a faint vibration that I can hear and feel coming from that area of the car. Is there something wrong with my suspension?
Potholes can viciously assault innocent vehicles—you’re lucky it didn’t swallow the car whole. Unless you were going extremely fast, though, there probably isn’t any structural damage. It takes a pretty big hit to bend a piece of the suspension. Still, a pothole can do a number of bad things to the wheel and tire. It’s most likely that vibration comes from a bent wheel rim. You should be able to see any damage on a close inspection; don’t forget to check the inside lip of the wheel as well. Most steel and aluminum wheels can be repaired for less than $150 by companies such as Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, a mobile service that fixes wheels on the spot. In your case you can also buy a used factory-style wheel for about the same price. It’s also possible that the impact knocked off one of the wheel balancing weights. And though it’s unlikely, crashing your tire into a pothole can sometimes damage the steel belts inside, causing them to be out of round. After a quick look, take the car to a tire-and-wheel specialist for inspection and repair.