With spring comes its own seasonal driving challenges: potholes and hydroplaning. While potholes are a pretty regular occurrence in Minnesota due to our extreme temperature changes, many drivers do not consider hydroplaning an issue unless there’s a lot of spring flooding. However, it’s important to keep these dangers in mind anyway.
If you can’t avoid a pothole, keep your wheel straight, slow down, and release the brakes right before hitting it to minimize damage. Other than the potential mechanical issues listed below, failing to properly grip the wheel could cause you to lose control of your car and cause an accident. The two areas you should keep in mind when experiencing potholes are:
Driving over a pothole at just the right speed and angle could cause too much force to be applied to one area, which causes a blowout. The impact could also result in a less serious issue of losing some pressure in your tires, but that should still be taken care of in a timely manner. Tires with too little pressure will cause uneven wear, which shortens the lifespan of them.
Suspension and Steering
Going over a pothole can be jarring for vehicle and passenger. However, while you might be able to shake it off, that impact could cause your suspension or steering to go out of alignment. You’ll start to notice you have to fight with the steering wheel to keep it straight, and it wants to pull to the right or left instead. A misaligned suspension will cause uneven wear on some or one of the tires, which could result in It wearing out prematurely.
Another important reason to check on your tires regularly: proper tire depth will help your car keep traction when driving over wet roads. Hydroplaning occurs when cars skid or slide across a wet surface because that water causes a thin layer to separate the tire from the surface of the road. The grooves in a tire tread help avoid that by channeling water beneath the tire and decreasing the chances of a car hydroplaning.
One of the best ways to avoid hydroplaning then is to make sure your tires have proper tread and that they’re properly aligned. Additionally, when driving on wet roads, slow down, break slowly, and avoid puddles or standing water. If you come across a road that has standing water, turn around and take another route. Cars will often risk driving through that standing water and realize it’s much deeper than they thought, so they get stuck.
Either way, if your vehicle feels off after going over a pothole or large puddles, bring it into Superior Service Center for a check-up to make sure you’re not missing unseen damage. We have locations in Eagan, MN and Apple Valley, MN.