The Pitfalls of Potholes for Wheel Alignment

March 14th, 2016

Wheel Alignments TN & VA

When spring is around the corner, pothole season is at its height. We all want to avoid striking potholes when driving if we can, and some ways to do it are presented below. However, if you if you think your car is already feeling the effects of poor road conditions, now might be a good time to consider having Free Service Tire check your wheel alignment.

Potholes can deflate tires, bend rims, and damage your vehicle’s entire suspension system. So the first order of business – not only to preserve your wheel alignment, but also to maintain the well-being of your suspension – is to circumvent potholes’ effects on your car. Here are a few simple rules for doing so.

  • Keep your tires properly inflated. An under-inflated tire is more likely to suffer damage from potholes.
  • Maintain a large space cushion between your car and the vehicle ahead. This will give you time to see what road conditions are like and avoid rough spots.
  • Keep a reasonable speed. Driving too fast will make it harder for you to miss potholes and other hazards.
  • Don’t drive through puddles. You wouldn’t dive into water if you didn’t know how deep it was, would you? Apply the same logic to puddles and dodge them if you can, because potholes may lurk beneath them.
  • Observe traffic patterns ahead of you. If cars are moving to one side or another at a certain point, that’s a signal you should follow suit.

Observing the above suggestions will help you bypass driving hazards, like potholes, which can harm your vehicle’s alignment. Another way to help maintain your wheels’ alignment is to have them checked periodically. After all, many other factors in driving – including those less perilous than potholes – can affect your alignment.

Things like bumping curbs or other barriers when parking, driving on rough surfaces like gravel, and normal wear and tear over time will all conspire to push your wheels out of alignment. So it’s a good idea to have the alignment reviewed often – at least once a year. And if you’re going to do it annually, checking wheel alignment at the end of pothole season only makes sense.

Also, there are many advantages to keeping your wheels in proper alignment:

  • Smoother ride, with less vibration and no pulling to the side
  • Extended tire life because of reduced tire wear
  • Better gas mileage (odd as it may sound, tires that are misaligned travel farther than aligned tires; over time, this can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 10 percent)
  • Increased safety, because aligned wheels give you greater control of your vehicle and allow for shorter braking distances

So, even if pothole season hasn’t hit your vehicle, when you’re ready to reap the benefits of good wheel alignment, Free Service Tire is ready to help! You can find our location nearest to you via or schedule an appointment online at Let us line you up today! 

  Posted in: Tires 101, Auto Repair