Ownership What do Potholes do to Your Car?
We drive the unobtainable 2018 Volkswagen T-Roc
The bad news is, we won’t get the new T-Roc in North America. Pity!That’s too bad. The T-Roc is a lovely compact SUV, one size down from the Tiguan and so stylish it can be bought in dozens of different colour combinations. There are six different engines available here in Europe, three gasoline and three diesel, and it’s available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
There’s no upside to encountering potholes. Brought on in droves as the freeze/thaw cycle weakens and breaks up road surfaces, they become enlarged as each passing vehicle pounds into them and furthers the destruction. In the fluctuating weather that often occurs at this time of year in much of Canada, they’re an unfortunate reality.
Test Drive: 2018 Toyota C-HR
People are strange, especially when it comes to showcasing their personal styles. People are strange, especially when it comes to showcasing their personal styles. While some stick ink-filled needles into their bodies, others poke holes in all sorts of places. There are even some folks who actually wear white after Labour Day. Shocking, I know, but it’s true.
Inevitably, you will drive through one. Probably many. Possibly stretches of road that seem to be made of brief sections of pavement interspersed amongst a lunar surface of broken asphalt and water-filled holes of unknown depth and size. They’re largely unavoidable, virtually inescapable, and they have the potential to damage your vehicle and cost you money.*
*Note that while many cities and municipalities have policies in place to compensate motorists for pothole damage, the process can be tedious, the onus falls on the driver to prove the damage was caused by negligence on the part of whomever is responsible to maintain the road, and – based on the City of Toronto’s standards, anyway – the size that the pothole must be before it is even considered an issue may prove surprising. Check out Table 1 in Section 6 of the relevant part of the city of Toronto Act: the minimum size for a pothole to be considered an issue is 8 cm deep, or 600 square cm in surface area. That’s big.
SUV Review: 2017 Land Rover Discovery V6 HSE Luxury
Luxury off-roader is improved on from before, and the V6 gives scoot if not decent fuel economyThe fifth-generation Discovery, which debuted earlier last year, is decidedly better looking and more luxuriously contented than before. One of the hallmarks of the four previous generations was the stepped roofline, allowing for greater headroom in the available third row of seats. Though not as perceptible as before, it remains a key design cue. Far more noticeable is that the squared-off profiles of past have given way to a more streamlined design, ensuring the newest Discovery —muscular, masculine — is the most aerodynamic version yet, its drag coefficient of 0.
How the Damage Occurs
The damage caused by driving through a pothole begins at the tire, as it’s what first impacts the far side of the pothole. Crushed between the edge of the road surface and the wheel of the vehicle, it gets subjected to violent and very concentrated forces. Modern tires are surprisingly robust, however it is very possible for the sidewall to get pinched between the wheel flange and the ground. The result can be a puncture, a deep sidewall slice that compromises the integrity of the tire, or even cut belts within the structure of the tire. Tires are by far the most likely part of your car to fall victim to a pothole.
The wheel is next in line. Bent lips, fractures/cracks, or even being bent out of round or out of parallel are all possibilities. Some of this damage may not be obvious without spinning it in place on a hoist or mounted on a tire balancer.
Test Drive: 2018 Honda CR-V Touring
While not the sportiest, biggest, smallest or flashiest, it is an outstanding family vehicle with great utility, excellent build quality and efficiency.
The wheel bearing experiences the impact shock from the wheel at the same instant as the wheel. Direct bearing failure as a result of hitting a pothole is extremely unlikely; however, repetitive or severe impacts can crater or flake the chromed surfaces in which the bearing’s balls or rollers run on, leading to premature death, excessive play, or – quite commonly – noisy operation.
Immediate injury to a shock or strut from an impact is similarly unusual, though their mounting points can break in extreme cases. Even so, every motion of the suspension is countered by resistance from those components, which pass oil through tiny holes and valves to create that resistance, a process that generates heat. Besides the expected physical wear, tremendously rough surfaces taken at speed, such as a dirt road or heavily pockmarked highway, can actually overheat the shocks, potentially damaging the seals, eventually leading to oil loss and damping failure. An oily damper is a failed damper, and it and its matching mate should be replaced.
There are a multitude of different suspension layouts, but there’s some commonality between them – all use some kind of bushing or pivot where they connect to the vehicle’s frame or body; all use some form of ball joint, strut mount, or kingpin to facilitate steering; and all can suffer from bent, fractured, broken, or worn out components and mounting points. Regular vehicle inspections are a must, and any unusual behaviour – especially in the wake of a particularly noteworthy impact – should be investigated as soon as possible. The pounding that your average ball joint or tie-rod end receives is astonishing, and in most cases failure will lead – at minimum – to considerable damage to the vehicle and the need to be towed, with the very real possibility existing of a loss of control leading to a serious crash.
2018 Nissan Armada: Big is the Word of the Day
There are many people who may require a very large SUV, but not necessarily the luxury nameplate often associated with such brethren. The Nissan Armada would be an excellent choice in that regard because it’s nicely appointed and optioned as many other luxury SUVs are, but doesn’t cost “too” much. Normally, these barges can run above $100K, but given the Armada is a Nissan, it’s priced a tad lower than you may think at $64,998 ($67,063 after freight and other fees). Research 2018 nissan armada See Full Specs See Pricing Introduced way back in 2004 and only redesigned last year meant the vehicle was long overdue for a change.
Warning Signs of Damage
There are immediate signs to watch for after running into a particularly memorable pothole, especially those encountered at any kind of meaningful speed. Most of the same symptoms also apply to damage caused by skidding or sliding into a curb, ditch, or snowbank, whether there is visible harm or not.
Signs of immediate concern include a shimmy felt in the steering wheel or through the vehicle body that was not present beforehand (often most noticeable at low speed), pulling, a misaligned steering wheel (i.e. crooked when driving straight ahead), or any unusual rattling, clunking, or rubbing noises.
If you observe any of these symptoms, particularly after hitting a pothole, road heave, or suffering an inadvertent impact, you should have your vehicle inspected by a qualified repair shop.
Impacts severe enough to damage a tire or wheel can also damage other less visible components within the steering and suspension systems, so the same advice applies even if a flat tire is the only apparent consequence of your incident.
Minimizing the Consequence
There are lots of factors that influence how much (if any) damage potholes or heavily broken pavement will cause. Obviously increased speed means increased impact energy, but the low-profile tires used on high-end and sporty cars are at greater risk than the taller tires common to trucks and many SUVs.
First Ride: 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100
Despite the 1100's extra power and weight, Ducati's newest Scrambler is still incredibly distinctiveThis is the Scrambler for grown-ups. Essentially, what Ducati has done is resurrect its previous-generation, large-displacement and air-cooled V-twin, upgraded its emissions reduction hardware and plopped it into an only slightly modified Scrambler chassis. It may only boast a tres passé two valves in each cylinder head, and yes, it is one of Ducati’s older V-twins, but it still packs 86 horsepower. More importantly, it only has to motivate 211 kilograms, so the Scrambler is among the most sprightly of resot-rods. Just as important, its maximum torque — 65 lb.
A recommendation that I make to my customers is the use of a dedicated set of wheels for their winter tires, using a smaller-diameter wheel whenever that option exists; this applies to both cars and light trucks. (Keeping the overall diameter of the tire as close to the original as possible by selecting an appropriate replacement size will maintain speedometer accuracy, clearances, and gearing.)
Smaller wheels mean using (often less expensive) tires with taller sidewalls – more forgiving of impacts – while relatively inexpensive steel or aftermarket alloy wheels minimize the cost of replacement in the event damage does occur. Less expensive at changeover time and eliminating the potential for damage to both tire and wheel during mounting and dismounting, a second set of wheels offers an additional bonus: keeping the original (usually ludicrously expensive) factory wheels away from both prime pothole season and the corrosive effects of salt and anti-icing brine.
In this part of the world, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid every pothole, but there are ways to reduce their impact on your car and your wallet. Recognising the signs of damage if it should happen can still allow you to minimize the risk of further harm to your vehicle and safety. The pavement should be the only thing that gets all broken up about pothole season.
2018 Infiniti Q50: On the ragged edge of driving satisfaction .
2018 Infiniti Q50: On the ragged edge of driving satisfactionIn Red Sport 400 guise, the Q50 uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that throws 400 horsepower to the rear wheels -- great for testing along my super-secret back roads outside Oakland, California. With a complementary 350 pound-feet of torque (which comes on low from just 1,600 rpm), power is strong and always available. With its adaptive suspension set to Sport Plus, the Q50 willingly dives into tight turns and blasts out with incredible poise.
Driving Through Potholes in 4K Slow Motion - See Through Car ( E.1 P.1 )
I get a Mercedes Benz E Class, I strip the car down and Drive Through huge potholes and the worst streets I've seen in Chicago, I Film it in 4K slow motion so we can see how the suspension...
Car damage from potholes
Suspension Cam ◂ WEWS NewsChannel5 is On Your Side with breaking news & weather updates -- NewsChannel 5 brings you the latest trusted news and information from Cleveland to Akron and...