Our first blog post comes at a time when many people in the City of Ottawa are experiencing frustrations with deteriorating road conditions. 'Tis the season of potholes here in our nation's capital and with the potholes come headaches.
Repairs for pothole damage can range anywhere from a simple flat repair, providing the tire is still in acceptable condition, all the way up into the thousands when suspension components become damaged or wheels are bent.
If you do happen to get a flat tire due to a pothole, not all flats are repairable. If the impact was severe, the integrity of the tire can be compromised and then must be replaced. Depending on the condition of your other tires, that may mean replacing more than one tire. A typical repair cost for replacing a couple of tires, including mounting and balancing, would be in the $400 range. It is recommended that you also get an alignment at this time.
Ball joints and tie rod ends (suspension components) are quite frequently damaged or broken as the result of a hard impact, and the cost of the repair to these components varies widely. If your run in with a pothole results in any abnormal noises or affects the drivability of your vehicle, take it to your preferred mechanic immediately. Driving on damaged suspension components is extremely dangerous.
Most steel wheels are cheap enough that the best option is to replace them, but when it comes to alloys, you could be looking at $500 or better for a factory replacement. Alloy wheels can be repaired, but the bend or fracture to the wheel causes a permanent weak spot, so for peace of mind, your best bet is to replace it.
What sort of recourse do you have with the City of Ottawa? Over the past few years there have been very few payouts due to pothole damage. First, the City must be notified of the exact pothole that poses a risk before it causes any damage. If that pothole is not repaired and does indeed cause damage to your vehicle, you can file a claim with the City for reimbursement on your repairs.