How can the spring thaw affect my car maintenance?

Are you excited for spring but concerned about driving through potholes? You can adjust your driving habits to steer clear of these hazards and prevent damage to your car. In this blog post, one of our OCTO Auto Service Plus mechanics will explain how the spring thaw could affect your car maintenance.

Thawing on the roads

As climate change becomes more prevalent, the roads are experiencing more frequent freezing and thawing cycles. When the weather gets warmer, the pavement becomes fragile and vulnerable due to the heavy traffic from cars and overloaded semi-trucks. Eventually, the pavement weakens and forms potholes. These potholes are notorious for causing damage to vehicles, making it difficult for drivers to navigate the roads.

The biggest risks

Driving through a pothole can damage various car parts, such as the chassis. Other risks associated with hitting a pothole include:

  • Tire tears. An overinflated tire is more likely to suffer structural damage, while an underinflated tire is more likely to puncture when squeezed between the wheel and the pothole.
  • Lost hubcaps. Commonly attached to the wheel by a pressure clamp, your hubcap can easily fall off when you hit a pothole. Replacing a single hubcap can cost between $20 and $150.
  • Cracked wheels. If your tire doesn’t absorb the full impact of hitting the pothole, your wheel may bend, crack or break. Replacing a steel wheel is usually affordable, but an alloy wheel can set you back $500.
  • Broken suspension. Your car’s suspension system is designed to move vertically, but hitting a pothole can force it to move horizontally. This can damage the suspension arm or knock the wheels out of alignment.

Prevention tips

How can you minimize the risk of damage? Here are a few simple and effective solutions:

  • Check your tire pressure at the beginning of spring
  • Look well ahead of you when you’re driving to spot potholes and adjust your driving
  • If you can’t avoid driving through a pothole, slow down as much as possible, don’t brake hard and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel to maintain control
  • Avoid driving through large puddles, as they often hide deep potholes

Be prepared by calling your nearest OCTO today

Request an appointment at your nearest OCTO Auto Service Plus repair shop to ensure your car is in top condition this spring.

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