How Potholes Destroy Vehicles

Doug Enright 

Many modern roads are constructed from versatile asphalt. Asphalt is easy to pour, quick to set and is 100 percent recyclable making this one petroleum product that’s environmentally friendly. There are many useful aspects to asphalt, but it isn’t perfect. One of the most common asphalt issues experienced nationwide is the dreaded pothole.

Potholes are a major pain in the tailpipe, and they can rattle both your car and your wallet. How bad can potholes affect your vehicle? Here’s what you should be looking out for if you live in a pothole-filled neighborhood.

5 Ways Potholes Destroy Your Car


The lower your car’s frame, the more likely a pothole can damage it. Low profile racing-style vehicles or cars that have been lowered past their stock level and clear the asphalt are the most susceptible. Cars with low bodies can have damage to wheel wells, fenders, bumpers, and even chases damage from potholes.


Most potholes can’t reach into your car’s inner workings, but deeper ones can. This could be major trouble for your vehicle’s exhaust. Deep potholes can jostle your exhaust or even peel off your muffler. You may only receive minor dents or punctures, but these can cause issues with your vehicle. You can notice a loose or jarred exhaust by rattling underneath the vehicle.

Suspension and Alignment

Your suspension can be affected by potholes. Your suspicion wants to keep your ride comfortable and on the straight and narrow. Potholes, depending on their nastiness, can wage war on your vehicle’s suspension by jarring components that keep your car’s suspension in working order or breaking them altogether.

This can misalign the vehicle or affect components in your suspension system. You’ll usually be able to feel suspension issues right away after hitting a pothole, the car may handle differently, or you might now have to turn the wheel more severely to align correctly. You should have any suspension and alignment issues addressed immediately to avoid further damage to your vehicle.


Potholes can impact tires. Many of us have found ourselves pulled over with a flat and a jack after hitting a nasty pothole. Potholes have sharp walls that can impact tires causing flats, busts, or small ruptures that lead to slowly-deflating tires. If you hit a nasty pothole, you should find somewhere safe to pull over and check your tires.

Frustrated Drivers

Potholes can compound other problems. Drivers who hit potholes aren’t happy about it, so they’ll take a different street to avoid potholes in the future. It won’t only be one driver that takes this route but several, and before long you can have a bottleneck of frustrated drivers jamming up the one pothole-free road. It’s never good to have frustrated drivers on the road who are more likely to drive aggressively and cause accidents.

Fixing Asphalt Potholes

Any potholes on city streets should be reported to the city or your local jurisdiction. A city can’t do anything about a pothole until they’re aware of the issue. So make them aware immediately. If you’re a private road owner who needs a pothole patched, you should hire a reputable asphalt company to help you with the issue. Most asphalt patches are quick fixes, but they do take time.

Though asphalt is an excellent paving material, it can experience potholes. Potholes can damage vehicles in several different ways from bumper to bumper, so drivers and parking lot owners alike should pay attention if they pop up. Alert your city to any potholes so they can get the issue addressed immediately. No one likes potholes, but asphalt’s natural properties make them easy and quick to fix for a high-quality driving surface.

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