Spring hasn't arrived yet, but the potholes have. And it looks like this year's potholes will be a bumper crop! While no one plans to hit one, they are inevitable and in many cases unavoidable. More than an uncomfortable nuisance, they can inflict damage to tires, wheels and suspension components costing Americans $5 billion annually.
Potholes are most prevalent in the spring because the moisture that has built up in the small holes and cracks in the road during the winter months alternates between freezing and thawing as temperatures change, causing expansion and contraction of the road surface leading to significant breaks in the pavement under the weight of normal vehicle traffic.
At the General Motors Proving Ground, near Detroit, manufactured potholes ranging from mildly annoying to chassis-rattling, help engineers tune suspensions to minimize discomfort that could be felt by passengers. James Bell from GM recently took a bumpy ride around the proving ground and shared his top tips for avoiding pothole damage during this record season including:
• Maintain the recommended tire inflation
• Avoid standing water
• Maintain safe distance behind other cars
• Use winter tires and keep them on until the end of pothole season
• If you do hit a severe pothole check for any damage immediately
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