In a perfect world we’d cruise on silky-smooth roads with no part of a car experiencing stress, the tyres softly humming on the asphalt.
In reality, driving can be like sitting on a jackhammer as the vehicle lurches through potholes the size of Krakatoa. But what damage is a pothole really doing, and which parts of a car suffer most?
We don our helmets and abseil into the depths of a pothole to find answers amongst the wreckage.
What part of a car cops it worst?
If we ignore Nan as she ricochets across the back seat, a pothole’s main victim is the car’s suspension. Tie rod end damage is common, these ball joints connecting the steering and wheels can’t take the hard knocks. Hitting a pothole deflects the wheels at an awkward angle, which damages the joint and throws out the wheel alignment.
Struts are an integral part of a vehicle’s suspension, supporting the weight, while keeping the wheels positioned. Striking a pothole can damage the bushings that attach the strut to the chassis, as well as the many linkages that make up the front end.
Stabiliser bar links
Another area that suffers from pothole strike are the ball joints either end of the stabiliser or sway bar.
This suspension component stops side-to-side body movement as the car corners, so when the joint is taken out by a pothole, the car will begin to slump through corners, rather than easing into them.
It’s not the bar that gets damaged (usually), but the bushing that protects the joints between sway bar and chassis. This is why you hear a clunking or rattling when you corner or go over a speed bump.
Pain in the pothole
It seems we’ve made some painful discoveries down in our pothole. But as we climb out, there’s good news topside: Transgold supplies the all-important rubber bushes that link and protect your suspension.
In addition, engine mounts, drive shaft couplings and transmission kits are also available.
Check out Transgold online to find your nearest stockist and be prepared for the next time you get a pain in the pothole!