Help! Attacked by the Mother of All Potholes!!!

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by MargeM304, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. MargeM304

    MargeM304 On the road again...

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    Hi all... I'm new here, but I figured if anyone could help me, it would be this community :)

    Saturday night, I hit the mother of all potholes....one of the nuisances of Ohio winters. Long story short....front passenger tire AND rim shot, and I'm driving around on that attractive yellow doughnut spare (kind of like the Scarlet Letter...look at me, I have a boo-boo!). :(

    Anyway, went to my dealer hoping for a quick fix, but they have to ORDER the rim, which will take until Wednesday. Their tires were more expensive, and I was about due for new ones anyway--though I was hoping to wait until summer. Costco has a good deal on four right now, that the service person at the dealer agreed was a good price that they couldn't match. So, I ordered those, which unfortunately takes them FIVE TO TEN BUSINESS DAYS.
    My question is, I can't sit home from work for a week....am I going to hurt my car by being forced to drive on the doughnut for a week or more? I'm limiting my trips to work and back, on city streets (no highway), watching for more killer potholes all the way. Thanks for any input!
     
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    It's not a real good thing to do but as long as you are careful, you should be OK. Stay off the freeway and keep you speed down to something like under 55. What does your owners manual say about speed and distance on the spare?
     
  3. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Yup, just like xs650 says, keep your speed below 50, drive calmly and you'll be okay. Check the tire pressure for your donut spare, too.
     
  4. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    I was always told that you wanted to minimize the time that you had a donut on the front of a FWD car to avoid damaging the differential as the smaller tire would cause the donut to spin much faster. I do not know if this holds for the Prius, but if it were me I'd swap and put the donut on the back.

    As for the tires - if it stretches out too long I have been very happy with my Goodyear Viva Assurance Fuel Max tires - they handle very well, return good mileage and were pretty inexpensive (4 tires installed with an oil change was about $350) and best of all they are a stock item at Walmart.
     
  5. ramdulari

    ramdulari Member

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    Order tires online at tirerack.com. They will deliver to their designated installers (repair shops), if you want. You can even comparison shop the repair shops on their site for the best price for installation. Furthermore, you can compare multiple tires rated according to various criteria by professional reviewers as well as user reviews. Really cool if you ask me!
     
  6. PriusDIY

    PriusDIY Junior Member

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    Bummer but I know how you feel. Here in MN it's not much better you almost can't avoid the potholes now. I hit one last week where I thought it was going to take the entire front end off, luckily that didn't happen.

    Welcome
     
  7. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Drive slowly until it is replaced, and consider yourself lucky if there is no damage to the suspension or alignment.
     
  8. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

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    Hey, MargeM304 & PriusDIY,

    If mine qualifies then neither one of you can claim to have carnal knowledge of the "Mother of All Potholes". My Prius is fine, but there may have been a 5" deep pothole involved with my wife's 2006 Mazda5 (micro-mini-van/station wagon cross). What I think really caused her Mazda the harm was before she even got to that pothole. She's not really sure because last Thursday night it was dark & raining with no street lighting at all & the incident shook her up so badly she didn't remember exactly where the hit was before the car finally died on her.

    She was on a road that neither of us has been on for over a year, when all of a sudden the car took a wicked double bounce that sent the front end up into the air (so she lost sight of the road) before slamming back down hard. She was able to go a little farther before the car just wouldn't move any more (forward or backward). She called me on her cell phone to have me come to the approximate area where she thought she was. When I got there I expected to find a blown tire & bent/shattered rim, but to my surprise all 4 wheels looked good & the tires were all holding air. Walking the area that night to find the offending demon was out of the question because of the heavy rain & strong blowing winds plus the fact that we both had an important meeting to be at, so the car was towed to a shop for inspection & repair.

    As I said, the tires were all holding air, but when I stood back far enough in the rain I could see something bad that really shook us both up (& also explained why the car stopped moving & our decision to have it towed). The engine had fallen out & was on the ground!! As the dealer explained, the reason it dropped is because of safety engineering. In a head-on collision you don't want the engine to be pushed straight back through the firewall into the passenger compartment, so it's made to break away & fall to the ground below the angled floorboard/footwell where it will go under the car or cause less injury if it does penetrate the passenger compartment.

    The next morning with the rain stopped, I walked the area & found the 5" deep pothole, but I don't think that was really the cause of the fallen engine. About 50 feet before that hole I found a really bad section of road (that I'm sure the locals all know about---but we didn't). Up here in New England in the winter, we have some really bad frost heaves (the ground water freezes & expands buckling the pavement above, eventually breaking it up & causing the potholes---for those of you down south in the warmer climate). Well, I found an area that had a high rise in the pavement followed by a DEEP dip (toward the middle of the road where the left wheel would be crossing over) & in the same dip area over at the right side of the road was a rusted & collapsed culvert pipe that had previously been covered by pavement. Right after that across-the-lane dip was another even higher rise & with the dip full off water & invisible when she hit that area, the roller coaster road surface is what sent the car's front end air-born before slamming back down hard. The height differential had to be at least a foot between the highest rise & the deepest part of the dip.

    Our insurance will cover the repairs except for the deductible [they say we had a collision (with the road)] & it's not an easy task to recover that from the town because that section of the road is privately owned with the owner(s) paying a fee to the town (whose limits that section of road is within) for its plowing & basic maintenance. The only thing is the maintenance has been intentionally let slide because sewer pipes are due to be installed in that area. It didn't happen before winter set in, but after the road gets torn up for the pipes to be laid in, the intention was to completely remove all the old pavement & re-grade the roadbed (probably replacing the collapsed culvert pipe too) before re-paving with a nice new smooth layer of asphalt.

    The damage to the car so far doesn't seem to involve torn sheet metal where the motor mounts fasten to the body, but oil pan (therefore oil pump too possibly), A/C compressor, & timing chain cover [a casting that covers the entire end of the engine block & bolts up to one of the motor mounts (a section of which ripped away allowing the engine to fall)will all likely need replacement, as well as inspecting the stressed hoses & wiring harnesses that may have been cut or broken. And it goes without saying a thorough inspection of the tires & rims is due, followed by a front end/4-wheel alignment.

    I will let anybody that may be interested know of the outcome of this situation. See, you guys, it could have been worse for you. You may get off lightly compared to my situation. Keep your chins up.

    Edit : Hey, I forgot to say that another reason the car stopped moving (besides the engine falling out) is that the axle shaft separated from the right wheel hub & when that spins freely, because of the differential there is no power to the other drive wheel.

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
     
  9. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    We've got some pretty rough pot holes here, too, but I think Ken takes the cake on this. Although, I'm not sure that's considered a pot hole, but DANG!

    Luckily I tend to drive on the same roads everyday and know where most of the pot holes are. However, I really wish that they'd remove sections and re-pour it rather than fill in another pot-hole.

    I have noticed a few getting about 90% fills with asphalt lately, so it must be warm enough out to start some fills, here. There is one section of road that's one big pot-hole patch job. It's pretty rough again after this past winter. I wish they'd just freakin do it right and re-pour the entire section!
     
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    As defined. a "spare" is not a replacement. But you adapt to circumstance. I think if you do as you say, that is avoid highways, limit to sidestreets, and also are cutting back as a whole...you should be fine. Keep an eye out for more potholes and keep an eye on the spare...make sure it's inflated to specs...

    Good Luck- I think you can survive.
     
  11. hamil33

    hamil33 Junior Member

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    Define pothole.
     

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  12. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

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    all,

    I just thought some of you might be still waiting for an update of the outcome of our Mazda5 that dropped the engine. We finally got it back on Friday, April 8th after almost a month of it being in the shop.

    The last 5 days of waiting for it were caused by the body shop (of the partnered, different-brand, different location in town, dealer) coordinating everything between the insurance & the Mazda dealer, forgetting to tell the dealer they had the insurance checks necessary to pair up with my $500 personal check (for the deductible) for them to release the car to us. Now the body shop has to pay for the extra days of car rental (for the rental we still had/needed after the car repairs were finished), while the dealer couldn't release the Mazda back to us.

    The repairs consisted of : timing chain cover/casting, a portion of which sheared off that attaches to the motor mount, damaged A/C compressor (at the bottom of the engine), valve cover (that got hit & broken by the motor mount when the engine dropped), radiator & fan motor (that got hit when the engine tore loose), right side axle shaft (that got bent/damaged when it pulled out of right wheel hub as the engine dropped down & on top of it), 2 struts/shocks (the seals of which were blown from the super-hard impact with the frost heaves & dip), some under-body splash panels/guards, & various hardware & fittings. Along with the labor time the bill came out to over $4,200.

    P.S. Thanks to a nosy, busy-body, home-owner who didn't want our car to sit in front of the vacant lot next to his house (we told him we were waiting for OUR tow), the police were called & their immediate-response towing people hooked up to our car & impounded it before our road service tow truck got there going down their own priority list that night. The police claimed our car was blocking the (lightly used) road & it had to go immediately, even though before they came, some cars had gone around us without any problems at all. (I wonder if he was getting some kick-back from their tow people for sending extra work their way). That cost us an additional $125 before we could even get it towed to the dealer the next day. Our insurance took care of paying that, but needless to say, they were very unhappy about that home-owner's actions.

    P.P.S. We'll have to see how far we get with the neighboring town in regards to their reimbursing our $500 deductible for their part in the neglect of the road maintenance for that section of road. It seems that even if that road doesn't officially belong to them, that if they are accepting a fee from an entity for the plowing & basic maintenance, that they are accepting the responsibility for doing that & by not doing so they also accept the risk of having to pay out for our (or also somebody else's) repairs caused by the road being in bad shape.

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
     
  13. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    Glad to hear you've gotten your vehicle back. At least things are moving along.

    As for that nosy neighbor, I say you find any little thing you can to report him for and keep doing it. What an @$$!!
     
  14. tpfun

    tpfun New Member

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    The Prius has a short suspension travel so it's easy to bottom out, which is what led to the rim damage. Did you file an insurance claim and have the transaxle checked out as well ?

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...9-just-me-prius-awefully-easy-bottom-out.html
     
  15. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    What modern small to mid size car doesn`t have a short suspension travel that is easy to bottom out
     
  16. WindyCityPilot

    WindyCityPilot Junior Member

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    I've seen a few of those potholes around Chicago lately!
     
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