Running into a curb might seem like a minor event, but it can be surprisingly frightening when it occurs. Hitting a curb at a low speed might cause some minor damage to your wheels, but a higher speed impact can rattle your entire vehicle and have much more severe consequences. Even if you can drive your car away from the accident, you may find yourself dealing with headaches in the future.
If you want to avoid potential future trouble, then there are a few things you should do after any collision with a curb. Follow these simple steps to minimize repair costs and ensure that your vehicle remains safe to drive.
1. Check for Immediate Damage
Even if you drive an SUV or crossover, you shouldn't assume that there won't be consequences from hitting a curb. Despite their rugged appearance and promise of off-road prowess, many manufacturers build these vehicles on typical passenger car platforms. This design means that a sudden impact can significantly affect your wheels, tires, and suspension.
Always check your tires for indications of damage. Missing chunks of rubber or tears (especially to the sidewall) can lead to sudden failures, so you should avoid driving your car if you notice these problems. Scratches or even dents on the wheels won't usually make your vehicle unsafe to drive, although you may detect some vibrations due to the imbalance.
2. Drive Carefully
Not all damage from hitting a curb will be apparent from a quick inspection. After your accident, drive your car carefully and pay attention to any changes in behavior. In particular, pay attention to any apparent drift, and check that your vehicle drives straight with the steering wheel in the center position. Unusual noises can also indicate suspension damage or wheel alignment issues.
If you notice that your car behaves oddly or seems unresponsive, avoid driving as much as possible. These signs can indicate that suspension components have become damaged or misaligned. Operating your vehicle with a severely misaligned suspension can make it challenging to maneuver and may lead to uneven or premature tire wear.
3. Schedule an Alignment
Even if everything seems fine, you should schedule an alignment as soon as possible. Any sudden jolt or impact can knock suspension components out of alignment. A wheel alignment will bring your vehicle back to manufacturer specifications, restoring its handling and keeping you safe. Scheduling this critical service soon after hitting a curb will also help to minimize further suspension and tire wear.
Remember that hitting a curb is never a minor occurrence. A proper wheel alignment will fix any issues created by the impact and allow the technician to check your steering and suspension for additional damage. This relatively low-cost job will guarantee that you aren't driving a dangerously unsafe vehicle and may even prevent a future accident.
If you need wheel alignment services, contact a local auto shop.