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Old 10-03-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
DILLA
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Hit a pothole..

Driving from school tonight I hit a pothole at about 40mph, it was dark and I couldn't see it, stopped because the car started to pull to the right and I was sure I bent the rim or had a flat or both. tire and rim are fine, but the car pulls hard to the right, and the car makes a loud THUD THUD THUD THUD sound the gets quicker with speed of the car. It's dark and I have 3 tests tomorrow so I have no time to look at it at the moment, but I am just wanting some opinions on what to look for. Wheel bearing? Tie end rod? ball joint? The thuds increase as speed increases which makes me think the bearing blew out. Car is pretty much undrivable the shuddering is so bad. Luckily I only had to drive a block back to my place. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:54 PM   #2
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Do you have insurance? Else bend over
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:55 PM   #3
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Control arms
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
DILLA
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I do have full coverage... but I'm not going to make a claim out of hitting a pothole..
How do I know if it is the control arms? or just the control arm bushings?
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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the control arm is probably cracked. best way to check is to put the car on a lift, and see exactly what's broken
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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I had to on my Passat. Hit the oil pan, the engine seized due to lack of oil that I didn't even know leaked out.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:10 AM   #7
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Sleep on it for now, you have three tests and that should be your main priority. I was in a similar scenario (not a suspension issue, but there was something that I felt was 'wrong' with the car and overlooked it and ended up paying the consequences the next day when I had a quiz) and would've slept on it had I known, because in the long run, school is much more important. Not intending to be a douche or anything, of course - just looking out!

That said, how deep was the pothole? We have tons of potholes over here in San Francisco and we've all hit a few one way or another. Given that you're pulling to the right, I'd get the FCA's and FCAB's checked. What's the mileage like on your car currently? Maybe you're due for a stage 1 suspension overhaul anyways and this could be a rather 'rude awakening' for it, if you will.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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I would also check the inside edge of your wheel (from under the car, or while jacked up). It has a lot less support than the outside of the rim and can bend very easily under impact. You may have a flat spot on the inside edge which your tire will also take on that shape and cause a "thud thud thud" noise as that flat spot smacks the ground. Lots of shaking as well. The inside edge of your tire may also be damaged (impact bubble) or leak air from the bead of the tire not sealing against the bent part of the wheel anymore.

Your alignment will be off, there may be damage to your strut tower mount if the impact jarred it hard enough. Control arms and stabilizer arms are pretty hard to damage, even if the edge of the pothole impacted it, it would have to go through the belly pan to do that. Your bushing may have been damaged, but that wouldn't cause that kind of noise, or any noise typically, but you would feel it in your steering wheel. Also your bearings are very hard to damage from an impact, they wear out from fouling, lack of lubrication, and years of use but not from impacts unless its to the face of the hub which would crush the bearing housing which would likely destroy other parts of the vehicle leaving it completely undriveable. I have seen impacts with curbs that caused enough force to sheer the hub from the axle with control arms and stabilizer arms still completely intact and one very cracked wheel. Lots of cracked or shattered wheels, damage to the strut tower mount, but rarely any damage to the arms or hub itself.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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You could have broken a control arm or end link. I would also suggest as above checking the inside of the rim.

I would also suggest having your tires and alignment checked. You could have broken one of the bands in your tires which could create a big lump causing vibration and pulling.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:46 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input guys, ill check it out this weekend and jack my car up.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
hummer
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My pot hole:
Blown strut and strut mount.
Mushroomed tower.
Broken lower outer ball joint.
Bent wheel on the inner rim.
Damaged tire that later blew.
Wheel bearing that later went bad.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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Make sure you check that wheel bearing too. Even if some suspension component is obviously broken, that doesn't mean that the whee bearing is fine.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DILLA View Post
Driving from school tonight I hit a pothole at about 40mph, it was dark and I couldn't see it, stopped because the car started to pull to the right and I was sure I bent the rim or had a flat or both. tire and rim are fine, but the car pulls hard to the right, and the car makes a loud THUD THUD THUD THUD sound the gets quicker with speed of the car. It's dark and I have 3 tests tomorrow so I have no time to look at it at the moment, but I am just wanting some opinions on what to look for. Wheel bearing? Tie end rod? ball joint? The thuds increase as speed increases which makes me think the bearing blew out. Car is pretty much undrivable the shuddering is so bad. Luckily I only had to drive a block back to my place. Thanks in advance.
You can't just look at the tire and say its ok. You may have split the steel wiring inside the tire and if the split bit is on top when you look at the tire you wont see anything. But you would feel it when rolling every time the split bit hits the road because there would be no strength in that part of the tire. Take the front wheel and swap it with one of the rear wheels and see if the noise follows it. Don't go nuts. It might blow and then you could be in the crapper. Good place to start. You got a spare?

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Old 10-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #14
DILLA
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Woke up this morning and both right tires are flat. I won't be able to take them off until I get home from classes and practice, so ill see. I could only inspect the front of the rims last night. The insides are most likely bent. Hopefully that's the extent of the damage.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #15
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time to get your hands dirty.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #16
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I hit a big one once, and it blew out the ball joint on my control arm. It was so bad that when I jacked up the front of the car and grabbed the wheel, I could literally move it to and fro with ease. It was horrible. Think it also destroyed my shock tower hat/mount as well. Potholes ring damage all the way from the tire and wheel into the shock and control arm, sometimes tie rods, bearings, etc.

Or you can check out my wa wa wa thread
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by scarede46er View Post
Do you have insurance? Else bend over
Pothole insurance? Really?
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:18 PM   #18
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DILLA View Post
I do have full coverage... but I'm not going to make a claim out of hitting a pothole..
How do I know if it is the control arms? or just the control arm bushings?
You have to look. You cannot tell anything without at least taking the tires off, and then you might not see everything there is to see.

What you really need to put the car on a lift and look at the bottom to see what damage you did. You may or may not see the damage by just taking the tires off, but that it the first thing to do. Since the tires are flat, you gotta take them off to find out why. You will need to take the tires down to the tire shop and put them in a large bucket of water to see if air leaks out of the rims, and where. You can do this test in your swimming pool or your bath tub, but your Mom won't be thrilled at the tire tracks down the hall and your Dad won't enjoy the skid marks on the wall of the pool.

If the rims are broken, either one of them or both, then the odds are very high that you damaged something under the car -- control arms, control arm bushings, stuff like that.
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