Bumping into a curb–or a “curb check”– is a minor driving hazard that even experienced drivers have made. When it happens, most of us think little of it and continue on our way. We certainly don’t think of it as a reason to see a collision specialist.
But making contact with a stationary object of any kind, whether it be another vehicle or a curb, can cause serious damage to your car. Even at just five miles per hour, hitting a curb can cause damage that requires repair. The effects can become even more severe when you continue to drive the vehicle without making these necessary repairs right away. Read on to find out just what damage a curb check can cause and what steps you should follow if you have such a collision.
- Tire and wheel damage
- Control arms and tire rods damage
- Steering knuckle damage
- Body damage
Tire and wheel damage are the most common effects of hitting a curb but the control arms and tire rods can also be damaged by the impact. Tire rods connect your wheels to the steering system, so damage to the can cause your steering to be affected and cause a crash. Damage to the control arms and steering knuckles can also cause drivability issues. Body issues are less common but can occur when hitting a curb. All of these possible effects will not only effect your cars drivability but also its resale value later on.
Steps to Take Afterwards
Step One: Give Your Car a Once Over
Just like with any collision, the moments right after you hit a curb are crucial. Pay special attention to the tire wall which is much weaker material-wise than the tread. If there doesn’t appear to be any damage, you still need to keep an eye on the tire. A weakened tire wall doesn’t always collapse on site. Sometimes the caving occurs miles down the road when the curb is long forgotten.
Also, you should check for any damage to the body that a low-lying curb may have caused. As we explained in our article about the importance of small scratch and dent repair, even small scratches caused by minor instances, like hitting a curb, can be costly in the long run due to rust damage.
One thing you can try if you suspect damage but don’t see any: take your vehicle to an empty parking lot and see if you can drive it without the steering wheel pulling to the left or the right. If your vehicle no longer drives in a straight path, you may have caused an alignment issue.
Step Two: Schedule an Inspection
The price of scheduling an overall inspection including an alignment check is a small investment to make when you think long-term. This is especially true since fixing small problems before they lead to more extensive damage lessens the likelihood of costly repairs. Even if no damage is found, you will have peace of mind knowing that your tire rods are in place, your car is aligned, and your wheels are ready to roll.
If you hit a curb or are concerned that a past curb check might have caused damage to your vehicle, call us at 480-351-2369 to schedule an inspection with one of our Orlando Auto Body certified technicians. We’ll restore your car to it’s pre-accident condition.