If you’ve ever hit a curb while driving, you know the feeling of dread that comes afterward. You hope and pray that your car is still in one piece, and that you didn’t do any damage to your tires. Unfortunately, hitting a curb can cause serious damage to your tires – even if afterwards everything seems to be fine.
In this blog post, we will discuss what to look for when checking for tire damage after hitting a curb.
Damage to the tire
First, check for any visible damage to the tire. Any damage to either the tire or the wheel should be inspected as it will likely knock the wheel out of balance.
If you hit the curb while driving parallel to it, then the likelihood is that the damage has been done to the tire sidewall. This is the worst outcome as damage to the tire sidewall cannot be repaired. If you see any cuts or punctures in the sidewall of the tire, it is likely that the tire will need to be replaced.
If you have hit the curb straight on, this is the best outcome when it comes to potential damage to your tire. This is because the damage caused from hitting the curb in this way is often minimal to the tire. It also means that your wheel is more likely to have escaped being damaged.
Depending on the speed at which you have hit the curb will determine how severe the damage potentially is to other areas of your car. The most common damage from hitting a curb head-on is a tear or a flat spot on the tire.
This type of damage is usually does not need the tire to be replaced, but if the tear of flat spot is severe enough, your local tire shop may recommend that you do.
Damage to the wheel
Another thing to check for after hitting a curb is damage to your wheel. Curbs are made of concrete, which is much harder than aluminum or steel wheels. As a result, it is very easy to damage your wheel if you hit a curb too hard.
The most common type of damage to the wheel is curb rash. This is where the top layer of the wheel has been grinded away, exposing the metal beneath.
Curb rash is often accompanied with a tear in the tire beading along the rim of the tire. This can lead your tire to become unbalanced and in severe circumstances leaking air. Mild curb rash normally doesn’t pose a danger to drive but is unsightly.
You may want to consider repainting your wheels or refurbishing them to rectify this issue.
If you have a bent rim, it is best to take your car to a professional to have it fixed or replaced. They may be able to bend the wheel back to its original shape. However it will not be as strong as it was originally and you may still be advised to purchase a replacement wheel.
If you have hit the curb hard enough, it can cause your wheel to crack. A cracked wheel is dangerous to drive on as it can collapse at any time. If your wheel has cracked, it will be leaking air from inside the tire at the point of the crack.
This will need to be inspected by a professional as only they will be able to advise on a case by case basis if it is repairable. However it is most likely that you will need to replace the wheel.
Steering and alignment issues
Hitting a curb can also cause problems with your car’s steering and alignment. If you hit the curb hard enough, it can cause your car to pull to one side or the other. This is because hitting the curb can knock your wheels out of alignment.
If you notice that your car is pulling to one side or the other after hitting a curb, it is best to take it in for an inspection as soon as possible. A professional will be able to realign your wheels and fix any other issues that may have been caused by hitting the curb.
In a worst case scenario, it may have caused the vehicle’s steering rack or mechanical parts related to the steering to become bent or even break. This will be immediately obvious as the vehicle will not steer correctly from your steering input.
You may find that one wheel in particular has broken and that when you turn the wheel, only one of the wheels will turns. If this is the case, you will need to take your vehicle to a professional as soon as possible for repairs.
Another thing to check for after hitting a curb is damage to your suspension. Hitting a curb can cause your car to bottom out, which can damage the shocks or struts in your car. If you think that you may have damaged your suspension, it is best to take your car to a professional as they will be able to diagnose any issues.
The first sign that something is wrong with your suspension is if your car is riding rougher than usual. You may also notice that your car is bouncing more than usual when you go over bumps. If you think that there is something wrong with your suspension, it is best to have it checked out as soon as possible.
Another sign of suspension damage is if your car starts to handle differently than it did before. If you find that your car is harder to turn or that it is pulling to one side, these are signs that something is wrong with your suspension.
The last sign that hitting a curb has caused suspension damage is if you hear a noise when you go over bumps. Unusual noises are the first tell tale sign of an issue and you should have this looked at as soon as possible.
If you have hit a curb and think that you may have suspension damage, it is best to take your car to a professional as they will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it for you. Any of these issues with your suspension or steering system will be putting extra strain on your tires and they will begin to wear unevenly.
Hitting a curb can be a costly mistake if you do not know what to check for. Be sure to inspect your tires, wheels, steering and suspension after hitting a curb. If you are unsure of anything, it is always best to take your car to a professional as they will be able to diagnose and fix any issues.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!