Spring is on its way - which can only mean lighter evenings, warmer days and of course the launch of our Good Garage Scheme Spring Check. However, whilst we are keen to ensure your vehicles have survived the winter and are in good shape for spring, there is one thing you will be lucky to avoid - potholes.
Estimated to cause as many as one in ten mechanical failures and costing motorists over £730 million every year, potholes are at the root of much motoring misery.
Although this winter has been relatively mild, the condition of the roads appears to have worsened - and a bumpy journey is an all-too-frequent occurrence.
How are potholes created?
Potholes occur when the asphalt road surface becomes brittle and starts to absorb more rain water, causing cracks to develop. The pressure of car tyres driving over the surface will weaken it and as frost and ice thaw, this deterioration process is sped up, causing chunks of road surface material to become loosened. Once formed, a pothole will generally increase in size as more and more cars drive over the weakened area.
How can potholes damage your vehicle?
Driving over a pothole, or in some cases into and back out of one, can
cause damage to a vehicle’s axle and suspension. Potholes are at their
most dangerous at night, and in wet weather when the extent of the hole
may not be evident, due to it being filled with rain water.
How can we help you?
Our Spring Check launches on 1st March, which means that by visiting one of our participating member garages you can have your car checked over, to ensure it has not been damaged by the unavoidable winter potholes or cold weather motoring. Your local garage will test your vehicle against a stringent 21-point checklist to ensure that tyres, brakes, power steering and other vital elements are in good working condition, ready for spring motoring.
If you believe your vehicle has been damaged by a particular pothole, there are steps you can take to report the issue, namely:
· Collect evidence – location, timing and photographs
· Report the pothole to your local council or Highways Agency
Presenting your case as if you are trying to help other motorists avoid such damage may help to support your claim.
If you are worried by the impact of potholes on your vehicle, simply ask your local Good Garage Scheme member garage to check.