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Potholes Dangers: Types of Damages They Cause to Your Car

pothole repair

Pothole repair is not something to be overlooked if you want to keep your vehicle from harm. No matter how small and insignificant they may look, potholes are potentially dangerous to drive over. From expensive damages to life-threatening incidents, there is a lot that can happen when you ignore them.

A survey conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association in April 2016 found that Canadians paid $1.4 billion each year in pothole damages. The poll also showed over 50 per cent of all drivers claimed to have experienced vehicle damage while 32 per cent reported paying $250 to $500 on such damages in the last five years.

At Curtis Paving, we provide quality pothole repairs and repave services in Burnaby, Vancouver and the surrounding areas. In this blog post, we have described the types of damages caused by potholes to vehicles and asphalt.

How Potholes Are Formed on Your Driveway

Your parking lot is more likely to develop holes in winters. After a downpour or a snowfall, water seeps into the soil below your driveway. As the temperature reaches freezing point, the water inside the ground expands, pushes up the pavement and creates a gap between them. When vehicles drive on it, cracks form on the road surface, resulting in potholes.

Damages to Your Vehicle from Potholes

When your driveway starts to fill up with potholes, you’re more likely to see damages in parts of your vehicle, such as in:


The tire absorbs the impact of pothole, which can tear its sidewall, break its interior structure or both. The sudden pressure can cause the sidewall to puncture. An underinflated tire might break when it falls into a pothole, whereas an overinflated one may burst. Both can sustain heavy damages from such an impact. If you find any bulges sticking out of the tire, it can indicate internal damage.


The sharp angles of a pothole can inflict severe damages to your car’s wheels. If the tire of your vehicle is underinflated or doesn’t absorb the full impact, the wheel suffers. It may crack, bend or break at the point where the rim meets the tube. Additionally, it can compromise the airtight seal between the wheel and the tire.


A wheel is subject to both horizontal and vertical force when it falls into a pothole. The forces are transferred to the suspension that is designed to move up and down. In case of significant horizontal force, suspension parts can take damage, putting the wheels out of alignment.


If you feel the steering wheel is shaking or vibrating after you’ve driven over a pothole, one or more steering components may have been misaligned. You may also experience your vehicle is off-centre or pulling to the left or the right. It will cause handling problems and could lead to terrible consequences.

Shock Absorbers 

Even though shock absorbers are built to negotiate on the roughest of terrains, driving on potholes on a frequent basis can cause wear and tear in them. Signs of heavy damage to shock absorbers are creaking and squeaking sounds emanating from them.


Hubcaps (also known as wheel covers or wheel trims) are attached to wheels by pressure clamps and they can fly away when your vehicle runs into a pothole. They not only enhance the appearance of your vehicle but also enhance its mileage; there is also a decrease in wind noise because of their flat surface.

Undercarriage and fuel tank

If your car falls into a deep pothole, it can damage the undercarriage and result in fluid leaks. You may not even realize this and continue driving the vehicle; the volatile and leaking fuel can catch fire.

Exhaust system

If the exhaust system is making strange noises after hitting a pothole, it may indicate damages to it. If left unaddressed, it can result in long-term problems with the vehicle’s engine and performance.

If you’re a resident of Burnaby or Vancouver and need to get potholes repaired, consider Curtis Paving. Equipped with necessary gear, we offer quality maintenance plans to keep your driveway pothole-free for a long time. We also provide asphalt paving services to commercial and residential customers. Contact us for a free quote.


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