So You Say You Hit A Curb...
March 3rd, 2017
So you hit a slick spot and your vehicle got away from you, or you had to swerve or got crowded over in traffic…and you hit a curb pretty hard rather than end up in a ditch. First off, we’re glad you’re okay!
But now you are noticing that your vehicle isn’t driving as well as it did before. Often drivers don’t realize that the steering and suspension components on their vehicle are actually pretty delicate, even on a tough pickup truck or SUV. An impact as light as 5-10 mph can be enough to cause damage to tires and wheels, bending a rim or stressing the internal structure and steel belts of a tire. It’s a shock to the steering system as well, and can be enough to jolt front-end alignment out of manufacturer’s specs.
At higher speeds, an impact on a curb can do damage to steering components and the suspension. Parts like the ball joints, Pitman arm, control arms, drag link or other components can physically be bent and deformed by an impact on a curb or pothole. Sometimes a wheel alignment can be performed and compensate for this kind of damage, but in other cases, the damage may be extreme enough to warrant replacement of the parts.
There are all sorts of different designs for steering mechanisms, but the steering knuckle is the part that is common to all of them. The knuckle consists of the wheel hub and spindle, which the wheel is actually physically mounted to. A hard impact can do significant damage to the steering knuckle, as it’s the part that is closest to the wheel and the actual energy absorbed by the impact. On a front wheel drive vehicle, a hard hit on a curb or pothole can damage the CV joints and half shaft, the components that provide torque to the front wheels.
If you experience an incident like this and are noticing vibration, roughness, “clumsy” handling or a pull to one side or the other, don’t delay – make an appointment with us at Miracle Tire and Total Car Care in Boise, ID! Let’s get your vehicle driving like new again!