Our mechanics hear this all the time, and it can happen to even the best of drivers. This is a common problem in the winter months, but really it can happen at any time. It might not seem like a major problem, but hitting a curb can do more damage than you think. If you hit a curb, don’t just ignore it. Instead pull over and check for damage. But first you need to know where to look, how to evaluate the situation, and determine the best action to take.
How Serious was It?
Not all curb hits are equal. The first thing you want to consider is how fast you were driving when you ran into the curb. Next you want to note is the height of the curb. If you are driving a car at 50 mph and hit a curb that was higher than six inches, you are most likely to some serious damage to the front end. But if you hit a small, three inch curb going only five miles per hour, then you might not have any damage at all. It also can vary depending on the vehicles construction.
Issues that Result from Hitting the Curb
There are several things that might happen if you hit a curb. The first is tire and wheel damage, which is fairly obvious. After hitting a curb damage from tire wear can occur in as little as 200 miles. You could also damage the tie rods (the connection between steering system and wheels) or the control arms (the parts that hold axles, knuckles, and spindles firmly in place while allowing movement of the suspension). Jarring from hitting a curb could inhibit your ability to steer or impact your car’s suspension.
What to Look For
If you hit a curb immediately pull over and inspect your car. Start with the tire that made contact. In the United States, this is usually the right front tire. Look for any damage to the side wall and the tread. If you notice any cracks or chucks taken out, you might also have wheel damage and should get in for Holly, MI auto repair right away. If the tire and wheel look ok, the impact could still have an effect on your alignment.
Checking the Wheel Alignment
Now, just because you hit the curb does not mean you automatically need a wheel alignment. But you should test your car for any issues. Drive to an empty parking lot in larkston, MI and start by driving in a straight line. Compare your direction with the position of your steering wheel. If the impact was severe enough, your steering wheel might not point in the same straight ahead position anymore. Next you can check for a bent wheel. If this happens, you will notice a slight wobbling back and forth of the steering wheel while you drive at low speeds. At higher speeds this would feel more like a vibration. You might also notice hard pulling to one side, the side of the impact.
Call Holly Tire for an Alignment Check
If you notice that things are a bit off with your car after you hit a curb, gives us a quick call. Or visit us at 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442. Our expert technicians will offer you a lost cost alignment check to get you back on the road in no time.