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Pothole Punishment

What’s your car like at handling the rough roads?  Driving over any rut, pothole or big undulation on a main road can be off-putting for the driver or passengers inside a car.  The chassis design team has a lot of work to do on a new modern car to keep the ride controlled and compliant.  Also, the suspension must be able to cope with a beating from time to time.  However, sometimes there is something on the road ahead that seems to just jump out and bite you from time-to-time.  Wheel alignment problems can result from running your wheels through a big pothole or against the kerb.

There is no doubt that potholes are a major factor in causing wheel, axle and suspension failure.  A year or two ago, our holiday plans were changed when our Saab was fully loaded up and we were travelling happily toward our first destination.  We were travelling along a sealed road, and I hadn’t noticed a nasty hole in the deterioration of the left-side edge of the tarmac.  The next thing we all knew was that the front left wheel on the Saab dropped in and out of this hole with an almighty thump, followed by the left rear wheel.  The left front tyre went flat, and we pulled over to change the tyre.  What we found was that the tyre had been sliced on impact and that the rim had been severely damaged and would need specialist repair.  This repair on the Saab’s rim wasn’t cheap, though the tyre was replaced at no cost.  Hmmm…not the best way to start the holiday.

Funding for road repairs doesn’t always keep up with the growing number of potholes in need of repair.  In the UK, some clever surveyors have taken this a step further and have managed to work out the cars on UK roads that can handle the potholes better.  Apparently, Honda cars seem to be the most apt at taking a beating.  Hondas seem to be the most resilient marque against pothole damage.  This resilience saves drivers lots of money in repairs each year according to new research carried out by  Second to Honda is Toyota.  And third comes Hyundai at being the most pothole proof manufacturer.  Less than two percent of Hyundai cars suffer axle and suspension damage.

Looking at the flipside of the coin; Chrysler, Mercedes Benz and Land Rover models are the most likely to be damaged by the UK’s potholey roads.  Results show that more than ten percent suffer damage each year.


  1. Etica says:

    I just replaced struts on my Camry at 145,000kms. I’ve never had to do this before on any vehicle, and I put it down to the bad state of repair of suburban roads in Adelaide.
    The car does handle nicely now.

    February 7th, 2012 at 11:01 am