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      01-14-2013, 05:37 AM   #1
djgandy
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Pothole damage

Quite a few questions and points rolled into one here so please bare with me.

Short Story:

I am worried that I may have damage to my wheels (225M's). I hit a pothole at round 40mph a few days ago. Both right hand side wheels went over it and the Flat Tyre Monitor came on a few seconds after. Ironically I was on the way to the garage to check my tyres anyway. I pumped the tyres up and they seem fine now. I reset the FTM also. Now the car is pulling to the left and at higher speeds I can feel a slight vibration on the right hand side of the car. I can feel a vibration in the steering wheel too.

Is there any easy way to diagnose this without too much cost? Is there an easy way to check for cracks in the alloys without taking the wheels off? I am pretty certain there is a problem but I don't know what it is. If it turns out to be serious I would hope to get the council to pay for it as they are extremely negligent in my area with regard to fixing potholes. I highly suspect that pothole damage also failed my 1-Series an MOT in the past so they have already got away with it once.

It may just be the tracking that is out however, and if the Flat Tyre Monitor hadn't come on I would probably just think that. But knowing how many horror stories there are with 225M's has got me thinking it may be more serious.

Could hitting a pothole cause the FTM to come on? Could this have been a coincidence and actually caused by not resetting the FTM after pumping on 4/1/13? I had driven around 10 miles without resetting it.

Could hitting a pothole crack the alloys?

As the car is pulling to the left does this imply that it has to be a front tyre issue?


Anyway the long story with more details:
Here is a series of events that leads me to think that it was this pot hole that caused the problem.

19/12/12 - Picked up car from dealer. Tyre pressures unknown. Apparently from what I have read since dealers are rubbish when it comes to checking this. Tracking had been done by dealer.

4/1/13 - Checked tyres at Sainsburys at around 17:30, temperature was around 8-9C. Tyres should be front 2.5 bar, rear 2.7 bar. Fronts were 2.3, left rear 2.3, right rear 2.1! Pumped all up to recommended ratings. After doing this I did not reset the Flat Tyre Monitor. Car felt much nicer to drive now, like riding a bike after you have pumped the tyres up.

8/1/13 - Went to Sainsburys at 9pm to re-check tyres to see if there was any problem with the right rear as it read very low previously. Temperature was much colder, probably around 1C (7-8C colder). On the way I went over something quite large on the A41 towards Watford, the right side of the car had a large impact. I can only assume it was a pothole. A few moments later the Flat Tyre Monitor came on saying that I may have a flat.

I crawled to the garage and checked the tyres. All of the tyres were down on Fridays measurements by 0.1 - 0.2 bar but I think that is within expectation anyway and also the colder conditions may have contributed to that. I topped them up and reset the FTM. I drove a few miles to the next garage and re-checked the tyres. They were all down by 0.1, margin of error maybe. Also even after immediately pumping the tyre, the gauge would say that it had lost 0.1 if applied the nozzle again.

Fairly confident that there wasn't a puncture I drove back down the A41. I noticed that the steering was pulling slightly to the left at this point. Didn't go too fast as I was still cautious that there may be a tyre issue.

12/1/13 - Went out for the day. Drove up the M1 then some A roads back to Watford area on the way back. Steering was still pulling left on the M1 which I would consider very flat in plenty of places. Also at higher speeds could feel vibrations in the right of the car and the wheel.

13/1/13 - My pressure gauge arrived over the weekend. Checked all the tyres on Sunday afternoon, no driving at all that day either. Colder once again, snowed that night. Fronts were 2.35, Rears 2.55 so nothing out of the ordinary.


Any help appreciated.

Thanks.
Andy
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      01-14-2013, 05:45 AM   #2
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The fact that the car is pulling to one side and yet your pressures don't seem to be changing (or if they change they all change together) makes me think that you've knocked your tracking out with that pothole.

The flat tyre monitor counts the revolutions of the wheels using the ABS sensors - if you're going straight and the rate at which one wheel is spinning changes then the monitor assumes there's been a change in pressure on that wheel (tyre) and flags it up.

Now, if you hit a pothole and it nudged your tracking out then one or more wheels might start scrubbing, which would change their relative wheel speed.

Definitely worth getting the wheels checked anyway but hopefully it's just tracking and this can be adjusted back to normal.
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      01-14-2013, 06:05 AM   #3
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The fact that the car is pulling to one side and yet your pressures don't seem to be changing (or if they change they all change together) makes me think that you've knocked your tracking out with that pothole.

The flat tyre monitor counts the revolutions of the wheels using the ABS sensors - if you're going straight and the rate at which one wheel is spinning changes then the monitor assumes there's been a change in pressure on that wheel (tyre) and flags it up.

Now, if you hit a pothole and it nudged your tracking out then one or more wheels might start scrubbing, which would change their relative wheel speed.

Definitely worth getting the wheels checked anyway but hopefully it's just tracking and this can be adjusted back to normal.
It seems logical to assume it is tracking as the car is pulling left. The high speed vibration is what worries me more. Could the tracking cause this too?
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      01-14-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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I didn't see any mention of it (could have missed it),but are you running run flat tyres?

Hitting a pothole can certainly crack the wheels,especially the bone china 225's!
The probability of cracking is magnified if the tyres are runflats,the walls of the tyres are rock hard,more so when it's cold,the tyres won't take any shock,so it's left to the wheel to take it,hence the chance of cracking.

The only fail safe way of checking the wheels for cracking, is to either take the wheels off,or put the car up on a lift,the hairline cracks are very difficult to see when lying under the car especially if the wheels are dirty.

It could be that one,or two of the tyres has blistered which would cause the symptoms you describe,especially the vibrations through the s/wheel,if that is the case,it will only get worse,and in extreme circumstances the tyre will implode.

Find a decent tyre specialist,and ask them to pop it up on a lift,if the wheels are cracked it will then be evident.

It you are thinking of claiming from the council,you'll need photographic evidence,detailing width,length and depth of the pothole,the more detailed the better,Council's are notorious for kicking out claims,but prove the case,and they will pay out.

Good luck,with all of it
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      01-14-2013, 06:29 AM   #5
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Yes they are run flats, hence my worries. The junction is very fast (national speed limit dual carriageway) and the only chance I have of getting a photograph is if the lights are red and even then it's dark by 4pm these days so that will be a struggle too. Maybe I'll pop down this lunch time if the snow stops.
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      01-14-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by djgandy View Post
Yes they are run flats, hence my worries. The junction is very fast (national speed limit dual carriageway) and the only chance I have of getting a photograph is if the lights are red and even then it's dark by 4pm these days so that will be a struggle too. Maybe I'll pop down this lunch time if the snow stops.
It's not worth risking life/limb for a few photos Fella,best move on and sort out the other problems.
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      01-14-2013, 08:46 AM   #7
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So I went and got a picture of it at lunch time. It's snowing here and the road is wet so unfortunately it has quite a bit of water in it. It is also on a dual carriageway which was luckily quite quiet. I was in and out of there pretty quick, also judging the lights so I knew no high speed cars were approaching. Still scary as hell standing there though.

There is a fracture line all the way along the road which is easy to see on the photos and there are multiple 'dents' which will in time likely become bigger holes. At busy times you would rarely go through at high speed as this line is immediately after the white stop line and with traffic build up you just don't get a chance to do more than 30 really.

At non busy times though you could be going through this junction at up to 70mph in theory.

The hole in question gradually deepens and then has a flat rise which explains why the impact felt so hard. The camera is not a good indicator of depth, but I'd say the gap was around 3-4cm. I feel I should not be obliged to measure this exactly however as it is far too dangerous. 3-4cm doesn't sound much but at dual carriageway speeds that's a pretty big impact.

I think ordinarily a car would only only catch the right side of this hole which would not be too bad either, but as a police car turning right to my right was almost in my lane I moved to my left slightly basically driving straight through the deepest part. Thank god I was only driving at around 40, I can only imagine what my front suspension would look like if I hit this at a higher speed.

Here are some pics : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ew1ev7rcxi62534/XZvTd8TVVg

Last edited by djgandy; 01-14-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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      01-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by djgandy View Post
I don't think you stand a dog's chance of getting compo based on those pics Fella,you'd be wasting your time.

I struggled, and the hole was 75mm deep!
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      01-14-2013, 10:01 AM   #9
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That's a blemish!!!

You should see some of the feckers in Buckhurst Hill and Essex in general. There are some A roads where driving is like being in a Nintendo Mario race with everyone weaving to avoid them.

More like tank traps.
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      01-14-2013, 10:07 AM   #10
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Where and what type of road was yours on though? The size is not necessarily relevant. It is proving neglect. Considering the traffic load of this road there should not be holes that big.

Also interestingly the defect is showing on google maps images from August 2008!

See http://goo.gl/maps/kW6eb and http://goo.gl/maps/CssOQ
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      01-14-2013, 10:11 AM   #11
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That's a blemish!!!

You should see some of the feckers in Buckhurst Hill and Essex in general. There are some A roads where driving is like being in a Nintendo Mario race with everyone weaving to avoid them.

More like tank traps.
It's 1 1/2 size 10 shoe lengths wide. It's not the worst pothole in the area by far. My area is terrible for them, but in general you can avoid them and they are in lower speed areas.

If you hit this at 70 on the M25 you'd know about it.
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      01-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #12
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A121 between the Epping New Road and Loughton I was thinking off. Not a dual carriageway admittedly but still an A road. Dont start me on the unlit B roads in the sticks!
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      01-14-2013, 10:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by djgandy View Post
Where and what type of road was yours on though? The size is not necessarily relevant. It is proving neglect. Considering the traffic load of this road there should not be holes that big.

Also interestingly the defect is showing on google maps images from August 2008!

See http://goo.gl/maps/kW6eb and http://goo.gl/maps/CssOQ
I take the point about neglect,but in honesty,as 'fulcrum' stated,the hole (is it even that?) would not even register as a pothole on the local authorities radar.

The one I hit was on an 'A' road,a bus route and was/is a very,very busy road,and I hit it in the dark.

After a 4mth fight, Surrey County Council paid out on the wheel,and 50% of the cost of a new tyre.

If you've got nothing else to do,by all means give it a go and see if you can extract some money for the damage (is there any?),who knows,you might get lucky.
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      01-14-2013, 10:59 AM   #14
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I take the point about neglect,but in honesty,as 'fulcrum' stated,the hole (is it even that?) would not even register as a pothole on the local authorities radar.

The one I hit was on an 'A' road,a bus route and was/is a very,very busy road,and I hit it in the dark.

After a 4mth fight, Surrey County Council paid out on the wheel,and 50% of the cost of a new tyre.

If you've got nothing else to do,by all means give it a go and see if you can extract some money for the damage (is there any?),who knows,you might get lucky.
Well as I said photos don't show it well and the hole is full of water which doesn't help. It is actually more a complete fault along the road rather than a pot hole. It looks like two surfaces that have been laid and the north side of the road being eaten into the ground.. You can see the fault line very clearly and there are smaller holes in the other lanes.

Is there damage? I don't know and I'm not sure I want to just yet. Last time I had pothole damage I got a 1000 bill. Suspension doesn't feel spongy, just the veering left and some ugly feedback from the right hand side of the car.

Maybe when it stops raining I can get some better photos and I'll take a measure next time (Sheet of A4 paper maybe). I have reported this anyway, and I will monitor it.

What was the speed limit of the A road you were on? As I said, it is not the size but the speed that is the problem here. I have hit far bigger potholes but at 25mph they are not an issue. If I hit this at 70 I seriously think it would destroy my wheels.
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      01-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #15
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Well as I said photos don't show it well and the hole is full of water which doesn't help. It is actually more a complete fault along the road rather than a pot hole. It looks like two surfaces that have been laid and the north side of the road being eaten into the ground.. You can see the fault line very clearly and there are smaller holes in the other lanes.

Is there damage? I don't know and I'm not sure I want to just yet. Last time I had pothole damage I got a 1000 bill. Suspension doesn't feel spongy, just the veering left and some ugly feedback from the right hand side of the car.

Maybe when it stops raining I can get some better photos and I'll take a measure next time (Sheet of A4 paper maybe). I have reported this anyway, and I will monitor it.

What was the speed limit of the A road you were on? As I said, it is not the size but the speed that is the problem here. I have hit far bigger potholes but at 25mph they are not an issue. If I hit this at 70 I seriously think it would destroy my wheels.
I wouldn't leave things too long,if there is damage,especially to the tyre/s,a blister, should there be one, will eventually grow,weaken and then without warning,go pop,not a great experience,especially doing in excess of 70 leptons on a M/way!

I think the speed limit on the road where I had my encounter with a bombcrater was a 30mph,although I doubt I would of been doing 30.
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