Colorado Springs Pothole Damage Repair

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Colorado Springs Pothole Damage Repair

When it comes to navigating the bumpy roads in Colorado Springs, pothole damage repair services can feel as frequent (and as necessary) as routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotation. If you’ve driven our fair streets for any length of time, chances are that you have hit at least one pothole massive enough to make you apologize to your car or pull over for a moment of deep reflection. With ice, snow, sand and summer rains, you can add the chance of smacking into the occasional curb to your worry list, too!

Pothole Tire Damage Colorado SpringsWe make every effort to avoid these frustrating road hazards, but curbs and potholes seem to pop up out of nowhere! In addition to the aforementioned slick or sandy roads that can cause slides into curbs, Colorado’s frequent freeze/thaw cycles, coupled with heavy rains and natural soil erosion, increase the number of potholes on the road. 

What does hitting a curb or pothole mean for your vehicle? It’s not always as simple as driving away and forgetting about it. Let’s learn more about the impact of pothole and curb damage on your car.

Table of Contents

How Does Hitting a Pothole Affect Your Car?

Even small hits on a curb and/or hitting a pothole can result in bent or cracked wheels, “bruises” on the tire itself, or damage to the suspension or steering components.  Any of these can create an unsafe situation and possible unwanted changes in tire wear patterns. The degree of damage is proportional to the speed you are traveling at the time of the hit, and the height of the obstacle or pothole.

It only takes a small (degree) change in your alignment to create uneven wear of your tires, decreasing the life of the tires significantly. If you notice your steering wheel pulling to one side consistently or if the steering wheel is off-center when you are driving straight, this may indicate the need for an alignment.  If any of the structural components are damaged, the car may not be able to be aligned until the damaged part is repaired or replaced.

A significant curb or pothole hit can also do serious damage to your tire’s structural integrity. The tire(s) may not appear cut or damaged, but often the tread and/or sidewall plies get “bruised” and will eventually begin to weaken and separate.  Once this happens, you may begin to notice a tire bulge or a vibration on an otherwise well-balanced wheel. Many customers come in and tell us that their car tires have lost pressure after hitting potholes or curbs while driving. That’s a sign that the damage was more than just cosmetic and you need to get your car inspected. Pothole damage to cars and trucks is not something to ignore! 

Depending on the direction and intensity of the hit, the wheel bearings can also be affected.  If you notice a “growling” noise coming from a wheel, this may indicate a bearing problem (which can happen with or without a curb hit).  Please note that damaged wheel bearings may not be noticed until a few days or even months down the road.

What to Check After Hitting a Pothole or Curb

Curb Hit Colorado SpringsAfter a curb or pothole accident, first stop and take a look at the affected wheel and tire to see if there is any noticeable damage. Do you see bulges in the tire sidewall or damage to the rim/wheel of the tire? A top question we see here at the shop is, can a pothole cause a flat tire? The answer is a resounding yes. After an encounter with a pothole or curb, ask the following: Does the tire look low or deflated? Is the tire completely flat? Do you see any holes, tears or chunks missing from the tread?

Also notice if there are any changes in your steering wheel or “feel” when driving.  In addition to concerns about their tires, customers also often ask, can hitting a pothole mess up alignment? The answer to that question is also yes – even small hits. Is the steering wheel off center or pulling to the right or left?  Is there a noticeable vibration at a certain speed? If the car wobbles after hitting a pothole but you don’t see any visible damage, you should get your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic in Colorado Springs. They will know how to tell if a pothole has damaged the car in a way that is not visible to a general examination.

With a harder hit, there may be damage to the suspension or steering parts.  Damage could include bent tie rod ends or control arms. If structural integrity is compromised, the affected part usually requires replacement.

Curb and Pothole Damage Reporting in Colorado Springs

Once you have assessed the potential damage to your car and scheduled an inspection, it is vital that you report the offending pothole to the city of Colorado Springs, this link will take you to the city’s website for Colorado Springs pothole reporting. Their pothole request form will help facilitate pothole repairs to prevent future damage. If your car has had costly repairs, you may also want to attempt to request compensation. However, as noted in the answers to some frequently asked questions about pothole compensation, that may be a shot in the dark.

Will the Colorado Springs city pay for pothole damage?

While it is disappointing, it is not easy to get Colorado Springs pothole damage claims paid by the city. When you file a pothole damage claim, Colorado Springs has several requirements in order for it to be paid out and almost no one can meet them. The city has a “reasonable amount of time” to fix potholes before someone can claim the city is negligent. And the city is the entity that determines what is a reasonable amount of time. In fact, a KKTV investigation in 2016 noted that out of 545 claims over a one-year period, zero payments were made.

Can I sue the city for damage to my car?

This is the next logical question considering the information above. You can certainly try. During that same KKTV investigation, the city’s risk management supervisor in charge at the time noted that the city has immunity under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

Should I still use the Colorado Springs pothole reporting form?

Yes, even though you may not receive compensation for pothole tire damage, pothole damage to car suspension or any other property damage, it is still important to report potholes so that the city’s public works department can make repairs. It may be too late for you, but you can still save someone else the stress and expense or even help them get compensation if the city fails to make repairs for a significant amount of time after the report. If you visit the city website, it will inform you on how to report a pothole in Colorado Springs.

Repairing Curb and Pothole Damage

Repairing curb and pothole damage should be left to a professional. You might be a champ at home auto repair, but the hidden damage can be difficult to detect if you do not know what you are looking for. Honest Accurate Auto Service has been in business in the city of Colorado Springs since 1993 and as residents and business owners, we are all more than familiar with the hidden impact that hitting a curb or pothole can have on a vehicle. When you bring your vehicle to one of our shops, we do the following: 

  1. Your technician will perform an inspection and road test on your vehicle to check for issues. Common complaints we investigate from customers include:
    1. I hit a pothole; now the car makes noise when accelerating! What is wrong?
    2. I hit a pothole and my car shakes? Is it my alignment or something else?
    3. I have a flat tire because of a pothole. Is there more damage? 
    4. I couldn’t switch lanes in time and hit a pothole; now the steering wheel shakes. Is my car ruined?
  2. Once the problem is diagnosed, your mechanic may choose from the following actions, depending on the severity of the damage. 
    1. Perform an alignment
    2. Replace or repair wheels.
    3. Replace or repair tires.
    4. Repair or replace shocks, struts or suspension components. 
    5. Perform any other necessary repairs to get your vehicle safely back on the road. 
  3. Following repairs, your technician will take another test drive and our quality control specialist will perform a quality check to ensure that the vehicle is road ready.

Get Your Vehicle Checked for Pothole Damage at Honest Accurate Auto Service

If you are aware of changes in the feel of your car or have experienced a personal encounter with curbs or pothole damage in Colorado Springs, do yourself and your car a favor by stopping by and speak with your favorite Honest Accurate Auto Service Adviser to arrange a road test and inspection. We may be able to save you further damage on your tires and vehicle and get you safely back on the road once more.

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