Curb Your Embarrassment

Posted September 25, 2017

We’ve all done it. Misjudged the distance from car to the sidewalk and – bam! Slamming your car into a curb one or two times can’t cause that much damage, right? Actually – it can.

While it may seem like an insignificant occurrence, hitting a curb can potentially cause issues for your vehicle. Do not ignore it and cross your fingers that nothing was *too* damaged.

One impact you could soon notice is your tire performance. Even when you hit a curb going just 5-10 miles per hour the effects can be felt. Drive as few as 200 miles and you may begin to feel the real impact of the damage done when you slam into something. So what can happen to your car when you bump that curb?

In addition to your tires performing differently, your car’s tie rods are likely to be damaged. These rods connect the wheels to the steering system so you may notice a difference in how well the steering wheel responds as you use it. It’s likely that you’ll first notice this in poor conditions like wet roads.

Another mechanism within your car that may be affected are the control arms – they enable the up-and-down motion of the suspension system, and help keep axles firmly in place. Shaking this system loose by bumping into a curb can mean big problems for your suspension. Your car’s steering knuckles could also be damaged (another element of your car’s suspension that aids your ability to steer).

The most obvious place you may notice damage is on your tires and/or wheels. If there’s an obvious gash in the rubber or on the hubcap, or the tires look as if they’ve lost pressure, play it safe and drive to an auto repair shop to have it checked out. Ignoring any early red flags could mean expensive repair work later.

It’s important to make sure that your alignment wasn’t knocked askew by any number of run-ins with curbs. An alignment inspection is not expensive, and can prevent your having to spend more on costly repairs down the road.

A properly-aligned car helps ensure that you and your family are as safe as possible when driving. If you have hit a curb, call us at 361-444-1355 to schedule an inspection as soon as possible.

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