THE VANCOUVER COURIER T H U R SDAY, M A R C H 2 1 , 2 0 1 9
SPRING CAR CARE
Minimizing pothole damage
It’s hard to avoid potholes in the spring. PHOTO iSTOCK
Flat tires are just the tip of the damage that can be caused by potholes COURIER STAFF With the end of winter finally in sight and plans for spring road trips well underway, one thing is top of mind for many drivers — potholes. And when you can’t avoid them, those familiar cracks and dents in the road can cause costly repairs. Suspension systems, impacted ride control and flat tires are some of the issues you may come across when you hit a pothole.
So what can be done? The Courier turned to the experts at OK Tire who provided a few simple steps to keep your vehicle’s pothole damage to a minimum this year. CONTROL IS CRUCIAL Have you ever felt like your vehicle isn’t driving the way you want it to? You might have an issue with your ride control. Ride control, or a vehicle’s ability to stop as well as turn and handle,
is crucial for comfort and stability. Damaged ride control components mean you may have difficulty avoiding a pothole, resulting in even more costly repairs. Your best bet? Get your ride control checked by a certified technician and remember — the “bounce and jounce” test is not sufficient. SUPERIOR SIGHT Avoiding the pothole completely is, for obvious reasons, the best way to avoid pothole damage. As well, keep your eyes peeled for dents and cracks in the road ahead of time. By doing this you’ll also be able to spot other drivers
avoiding potholes, giving you the opportunity to react similarly and safely. Another way to avoid potholes altogether? Steer clear of the edge of the road, where potholes often hide. TAKE A BREAK ON THE BRAKES When we hit a pothole our first instinct is to hit the brakes. After all, it’s startling. Although this may feel like the right approach, braking at the sign of a pothole can cause more issues. When you slam the brakes as you hit a pothole it causes your wheel to lock, resulting in a backward force on the wheel and,
potentially, damaged struts. Struts, which are a crucial part of your suspension system, can affect your ride control. Instead, consider slowing down to keep all your crucial components working efficiently and properly. OVER IS OPTIMAL It may seem counter intuitive, but driving over a pothole can be your best bet when you can’t avoid it. By straddling the pothole with your wheels, your tires won’t dip into the pothole and you’ll drive right over. This practice comes in handy when you don’t have enough time to maneuver and can minimize expensive repairs.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE At the end of the day, the best way to prevent damage is to make sure your vehicle is performing at its best in the first place. Keep your tire pressure at the right level, get regular checks and keep track of the state of your vehicle. To learn more about how to minimize the impact of pothole damage on your vehicle and to get your ride control checked out, find your local OK Tire at oktire.com/locations and stop in to speak with a certified technician.
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