Handy advice on what to do if you hit a pothole

This road, Leon Ferreira, is perpetually riddled with potholes making it one of the city's roads that are too dangerous to drive on. The potholes have since been filled, but residents say it’s just a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

The Motor Industry Workshop Association (Miwa), an association of the Retail Motor Industry (RMI), issued a statement on the mushrooming potholes on the country’s roads, following the recent heavy rains.

“The April rains have once again brought with them the problem of roads littered with potholes.

“Apart from the obvious threat to the safety of motorists, hitting a pothole has the potential to damage crucial vehicle components such as tyres, rims, shocks and mags,” says Dewald Ranft, Chairman of Miwa.

According to Miwa, in 80 per cent of cases when a vehicle hits a pothole, it is the rim, which is one of the most safety-critical items on the car, that gets damaged and not the tyre.

He stated that rim damage can often lead to other problems like vehicle alignment and suspension problems.

“If the tyre has deflated this is an obvious sign the rim is damaged. If everything looks fine on the surface there are, however, other tell-tale signs to check.

“Changes in the balancing and alignment are important to check. If you feel a vibration in the steering wheel, the chances are one of the front rims are damaged and if you feel the vibration on the seat, then it’s is usually a rear rim,” said Ranft.

  • Solving the problem

Ranft said while it’s not always possible to prevent damage, it is advisable to know how best to solve the problem.

“Rims can be very expensive and it is not always essential to purchase a completely new rim provided you use a reputable supplier.

“Consult your local manufacturer or fitment centre first to determine the extent of the damage. They should then be able to refer you to a specialist rim repairer.

“It is essential that the repairer is SABS approved and carries an approved ISO 9001 accreditation.

“Unfortunately, not many repairers have x-ray technology and can repair according to a certain standard, so one needs to select carefully.

“Most importantly, in the event of damage, remember to consider your repair options first, ahead of buying new rims.”

Ranft also reminds motorists that any vehicle damage from road works and poor road conditions on the ‘N’ roads can be addressed directly to the South African National Roads Agency and their insurer.

ALSO READ: Pothole-riddled roads expose ‘gaping holes’ in the metro’s roads department

 

 

 

  AUTHOR
Fanie Mthupha
Journalist

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