Hit a Curb! Get it Checked Out!

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At Hi Star Auto we hear our customers tell us stories about them hitting curbs often. It happens to even the best of drivers. Although more common in the winter months when our Las Vegas roads are slick with ice, the reality is it can happen anytime.

The question is do you have front end damage due to the accident and what are you to do about it. Let us evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action for you if you are faced with this scenario.

Not all curbs are created equal. The first thing to consider when you hit the curb is how fast your vehicle was traveling when it hit the curb. The second thing to think about is the height of said curb. As an example if you are traveling 50 mph and hit a curb that is higher than approximately six inches, chances are there is extensive front end damage.

However, if you hit a curb that was only 3 inches and you were only traveling at 5 mph or under, chances are you have no physical damage to your vehicle.

Always consider the impact event when determining what to do next. When in doubt, bring it to a trusted mechanic for inspection of the suspension and front end. There is a few things that you can do to get an idea of what the repair shop might find before you go.

Front End Damage from Hitting Curb

Inspect the wheel and tire that made contact with the curb. When it comes to tire construction the tread is stronger than the side wall and much thicker.

Often you will see chunks taken out of the tire side wall. There also may be wheel damage. This is found on the edge near the sealing bead. This kind of damage should be repaired or at least inspected immediately. If the wheel and tire look okay or only have minor damage, such as scuffs, the next step is to drive the car.

On this drive, there will be an attempt to determine if the wheel alignment has shifted due to the impact. Just because your car hit a curb don’t mean automatically that you have to get your front wheel alignment done. In fact, after the alignment is set at the factory they lock down the adjustments. These are designed to hold in place under harsh road conditions like slamming into potholes. However, if you hit a curb hard enough it will cause the alignment to move.

Potential Issues from Hitting a Curb

  • Hitting a curb even going as slow as 5-10 mph can have major impacts on the performance of your tires. Tire wear damage is possible in as little as 200 miles after a curb impact.
  • Tie rods are the connection between your steering system and the wheels. Any damage to the tie rods can severely inhabit your ability to steer, especially important when roads are slick.
  • The control arms allow up and down movement of the suspension while holding the knuckles, spindles, and axles firmly onto the car. Jarring from hitting a curb can cause extreme damage to the control arms and suspension of your vehicle.
  • A steering knuckle contains the wheel hub or spindle and attaches to the suspension components. It is variously called a steering knuckle, spindle, upright or hub, as well. Damage to steering knuckles also impacts suspension and steering your vehicle.
  • Tires and wheels can be damaged as well. If you suspect tire damage, have it inspected immediately to avoid costly problems.

What Should You Do?

If you hit a curb, call us at (702) 432-4300 to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. Our certified technicians will make sure your vehicle can keep you safely on the road, without risking extensive damage and costly future repairs.

An alignment check is a small expense, but it can save your vehicle many miles and dollars. If an adjustment is needed, this inspection can save many miles on your tires, and help you to get more miles out of every dollar. But most importantly, a check will provide peace of mind that you and your family will stay safe while driving.

Don’t ignore the fact that you just hit a curb! Call today to have your vehicle inspected.