It’s that time of year again. Snow starts to melt and potholes start to form on the roads. Whether you’re driving down the street or driving across the country, potholes can be a hazard to your vehicle. If you’ve been paying attention as you drive, you may have even noticed one on the road or even driven over one. But did you know that even the most harmless looking potholes can cause damage to your car? If you’ve been thinking about what kind of damage your car sustained from that last pothole hit, then we’ve got you covered with 6 signs to look for after hitting that pesky pothole.

1. Flat tire Signs

One of the earliest, and most common signs that your car has sustained damage when driving over a pothole is a flat tire. Once a tire falls into a pothole, the damage is caused when the tire exits the pothole, and can be either external or internal. If you notice a flat tire after hitting that pothole, it’s best to not only get that flat fixed, but also check for other damage to your vehicle.

2. Tires that bulge or have bubbles

While a flat tire is a visible sign of damage, your tires can have interior damage after hitting that pothole. If you notice any bulging or bubbles, it’s time to take your car in and ask your mechanic to take a look. Neglecting bulges and bubbles can lead to a blowout, which no one wants when they are out for a drive in the spring.

3. Signs of Bent Rims

In addition to tire damage, your wheel rims can get bent or damaged after running into a pothole. Be sure to check for dents and other damage which can affect the lifespan of your tires.

4. Suspension and Alignment

A pothole encounter can not only damage your tires, it can damage your suspension and alignment. Look for signs like your car pulling to the right or left when driving, a shaking steering wheel when driving at high speeds, or even extra bouncing while you drive. All of these are signs that your suspension and/or alignment is off. Ensuring correct suspension and alignment will provide safety while you’re driving all year long.

5. Strange Exhaust Noises

Something we tend to forget about unless it’s making some noise is our exhaust system.  Depending on the size and depth of the pothole, your exhaust system can experience damage. If you notice loud and strange noises coming from the back of your car after hitting a pothole, be sure to get that checked out.

6. Fluid Leakage

One last sign that your car has sustained damage after a pothole is fluid leakage. Depending on how fast you were driving or the depth of the pothole, your car may experience some new fluid leakage.  This can be caused by dents to the oil pan or other interior parts. If you notice new fluid leaking from your car, it may be a sign that you have some pothole damage.

With pothole season upon us, it’s best to slow down and drive carefully. If one of those pesky potholes is unavoidable, these 6 signs will alert you to any potential damage and indicate it’s time for your mechanic to take a peek under the hood. If you’re looking for a mechanic that can help with pothole damage, we’re ready to help. Simply call for an appointment today.