What Do Potholes Do To Your Car In Ottawa?

Potholes in Ottawa

Potholes seem to be everywhere in Ottawa these days, dotting the streets and posing hazards to drivers. Mix lots of rain or snow with a few freeze-thaw cycles, plus heavy traffic and a dash of poor road maintenance, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for pothole damage to your car.

Potholes, especially large ones, can hurt vehicles in several ways. Here’s what they do to your car.

How Can Potholes Damage Your Car?

1. Tires Can Blow Out

As the main point of contact with the road surface, your tires are most vulnerable to pothole damage. The most obvious damage is a blowout, leading to a flat. In addition, you may also sustain a broken belt, sidewall bubbles or bulges, or a broken belt.

TIRE PROTECTION TIP: Vehicle tires are more likely to suffer serious damage if they are under-or overinflated. Make sure that your car tires are inflated the correct amount.

2. Hubcaps Can Fall Off Or Break

Your hubcaps might be attached to your wheels using just pressure clamps. As a result, they can easily break or detach and fly away when you drive over a pothole. Although this might appear to be a minor problem, avoid driving with broken or damaged hubcaps. These auto parts are essential to add stability, keep tires clean, and protect your lug nuts from the elements.

STAY SAFE: Never stop on a highway or busy city street to go looking for a hubcap. On a quiet road, it might be possible, as long as you are ultra-cautious.

3. Rims Can Get Damaged

That pothole can bend one or more of your rims. (Aluminum rims are more susceptible than steel.) Other potential rim damages include chips, cracks, or dents, which are often not immediately apparent. However, they can start causing you problems some time later.

CAUTION: Pull over as soon as you can safely do so. Inspect your rims, and if you spot even minor signs of damage, don’t try to drive. Your car will need towing to a body shop for mechanical repair.

4. Car Will Pull To One Side

It’s an odd, even frightening, feeling when you’re trying to drive straight, but your car keeps pulling to one side. After an encounter with an especially nasty pothole, your wheel alignment may be thrown off -- not a difficult issue to take care of.

IMPORTANT: That feeling of pulling to the side might also be due to damage to your suspension or other components.

5. Your Suspension Might Be Harmed

When you go over a pothole, the horizontal impact to your suspension could result in several symptoms of trouble, such as a feeling that the steering is loose, “wandering,” or pulling to the side.

HAVE YOUR CAR CHECKED ASAP: Even if you don’t notice anything wrong with the suspension right away, have automotive service as soon as possible. There may be hidden issues like broken ball joints, shocks, or struts that will put your vehicle -- and you -- at risk of a serious accident.

6. Body & Exhaust Could Be Affected

We hate to tell you this, but cool-looking sports cars can get into a whole lot of trouble if they go over a pothole. Because they’re lower to the ground than most vehicles, they scrape against the road surface more readily. The resulting body damage ranges from cosmetic issues like scraped paint to serious mechanical problems.

The exhaust pipe might be affected as well if it is scraped along the ground.

TIP: Use your sporty car’s responsive system to wheel around a pothole whenever possible. Another way to avoid these menaces: stay in the fast lane, where you’re less likely to come across a deep water-filled pothole.

What Is The Pothole Situation In Ottawa?

No doubt about it, Ottawa does have a pothole problem. However, the City is fighting back; a budget of $9.8 million was earmarked to mitigate the situation in 2020. They are also testing innovative new equipment, such as the Python 5000, a vehicle designed to mend potholes faster and more efficiently. With these resources, they have filled tens of thousands of potholes.

If you are “attacked” by an Ottawa pothole, you can report it online. Potholes that pose a particular hazard or that impair accessibility should be phoned in to 311.

Will the City of Ottawa Pay for the Pothole Damages to Your Car?

The answer is maybe. You can always try making a claim against the City of Ottawa if a pothole damages your car, but don’t get your hopes up. The City’s compensation track record is not great — less than 10 percent of claims end up being paid out. Claims are only eligible if the pothole had previously been reported at least 4-30 days before the damage you sustained. Documentation of the pothole damage repair is also required, so hang on to your body shop invoice.

Pothole Damage In Ottawa? Bring It To Bemac

We can’t guarantee that the City will compensate you for a close encounter with a pothole. But we can ensure that we will do an excellent job of fixing any issues. Bring your car to our licensed expert mechanics for inspection, automotive tune-up, and repair.

Is your car badly damaged? Call 613-728-1908 for towing service throughout the Ottawa area.


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