(NC) Is your commute bumpier than usual? You’re not alone. Potholes are one of the most frustrating parts about driving in Canada and have the potential to cause serious damage to your car.

“While you may not be able to avoid them, knowing how to protect your vehicle from potential issues is important,” says Darryl Croft, automotive expert at OK Tire.

What can you do to prevent damage to your vehicle?

Croft says most damage is done when you hit the pothole at an irregular angle. While your first instinct may be to swerve, this may potentially lead to damage that could have been otherwise avoided.  If you do hit a pothole, inspect your vehicle immediately for any obvious signs of damage and bring it to a certified automotive expert to be assessed.

Here are some trouble spots to check out:

Tire trouble. After hitting a large pothole, the first item we usually inspect on our vehicle is the tires. The sudden displacement of air that happens when your tire runs over a pothole is enough to cause a complete blowout of its sidewall. Checking your tire pressure monthly to ensure they are properly inflated will help to protect them.

Wheels. The sudden impact that happens when you run over a pothole can cause structural damage such as cracks, chips and even bending of your alloy wheels or steel rims. This can lead to a faulty seal between the rim and tire, creating the potential for air leaks and even a fully deflated tire.

Ride control. Your suspension is designed to absorb impacts and keep your vehicle running smoothly down the road, but there is a limit to how much it can handle. If you encounter an especially large pothole or hit it at just the right angle, your suspension may suffer substantial damage to the shocks and struts or may even break a ball joint. If the damage is significant enough to misalign your wheels, you may notice the vehicle pulling in one direction, or strange sounds or vibrations that can lead to potentially uneven tire wear.

Find more information at www.oktire.com.