Mercedes-Benz vs Potholes: The eternal struggle.
Driving in Saskatchewan can be summarized in three words: flat, grids and potholes. Potholes are an unfortunate part of every Sasky daily commute and even though many look unassuming, they can spell big trouble for your Mercedes-Benz. Below is everything you need to know about potholes and how you can avoid damage the next time you encounter one.
What type of damage do potholes cause?
The suspension of your Mercedes-Benz is meant to absorb jarring impacts to create a smooth ride. However, if you’ve ever driven over a pothole in Saskatchewan you know ’jarring’ doesn’t quite do it justice. It’s more like ‘apocalyptic’. Driving over potholes can lead to damage to ball joints as well as to shocks and struts.
Tires & Wheels
Hitting the rough edges of potholes is obviously hard on tires causing sidewall bulges, tread separation and in extreme cases, flat tires. But did you know hitting a pothole at just the wrong angle can even lead to wheel damage? Most wheels are aluminum-based, making them highly susceptible to dents. Even the slightest wheel damage can hinder the airtight seals of the tires, leading to flats and even more expensive repairs.
Besides the damage potholes can inflict on your tires, they can also affect the alignment of your wheels. The components of your vehicle’s steering and suspension systems are put under excess stress when the wheels are misaligned. This affects your Mercedes’ handling, causes premature tire wear, negatively impacts your gas mileage and potentially may require costly repairs down the road.
Visit Mercedes-Benz Saskatoon for a $49.95 alignment check and if we find your vehicle needs an alignment, the inspection fee will go towards the alignment service.
‘Bottoming out’ in an extra deep pothole may cause damage to your exhaust or catalytic converter which could lead to loss of power or fumes leaking back into your Mercedes.
How do you avoid pothole damage?
Properly inflated tires
If your tires are low on air, the chance of damage to the tires, rims and suspension is much higher. Make sure to consistently check your tire pressure and to top your tires off with air the next time you stop for fuel.
Where there is standing water, there is most likely uneven asphalt, which often equals a pothole. Make an effort to drive around puddles whenever possible.
The faster you hit a hole, the more damage your vehicle is going to sustain. Even the lifted pickup truck guys slow down for them. That said, violently hitting your breaks and swerving to avoid potholes can cause additional damage. Remember, your suspension works best at consistent speed with straight wheels.
Potholes are as Saskatchewan as bunny-hugs and Roughriders. You can’t get around them, sometimes literally. Keep in the mind the damage potholes cause and the strategies to avoid them and you and your Mercedes will be happier on the road.