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How worried should I be?

I have a persistent problem clipping curbs with the passenger side rear-wheel. I don’t go over the curb, mind you, but skirt it just enough to make the rear-end skid out (relax, I don’t lose control); enough to make my tires screech. Question is: how many times can I do this before I have to start worrying about breaking wheel bolts, bending an axle, or at the very least, throw my rear end out of alignment? Or, should I lighten up and stop obsessing over it?

If you keep driving in this manner, I believe the local law enforcement agency is going to make that decision for you.


To clarify, the speeds at which I’m clipping the curbs are sub-5mph. Can I get a real answer from somebody?

One whack can cause all of the things you’re worried about. You really need to revise your driving habits or quit driving altogether.
It may be just a matter of time before this does turn into a loss of control issue (either after hitting the curb or later on when something breaks) and ends up injuring or killing you or someone else.

I think you guys are getting the image that I’m fishtailing out of the turn and flooring the throttle on black ice in RWD.

It’s a bad and dangerous habit no matter if it’s 5, 50, or a 100 MPH.
Clip the curb at 5 MPH, the foot inadvertently nails the accelerator pedal, and it’s off to the races.

If you are not happy with the responses then keep doing it.

You may not be a good driver.

I can only echo everyone’s thoughts. Figure out how to change the way you take those turns so you don’t clip the curbs. All of those problems can result, plus the sidewall damage to the tire, which can cause blowouts…never fun at highway speeds.

Believe it or don’t, you’ve gotten responses from some of our top contributors, and they all seem to agree. :slight_smile:


Agreed. This question is akin to asking “how many times can I drag a knife across my wrist before it bleeds?” You know you’re doing wrong, so change your behaviors. Simple as that.

Good luck.

Hitting the curb once is one time too many. For example, I clipped the curb with my wife’s 98 Ford Windstar turning into a driveway at <5 mph. No damage to the wheel or wheel cover, but the tire had a blow out and had to be replaced. It was a fairly big tire (215/70R15) and took the entire impact. A different vehicle with a smaller or lower profile tires may have suffered wheel, suspension, and tire damage from the impact.

To prevent large repair bills in the future, it’s a habit you want to break.

Ed B.

I agree with the crowd. Even once can do damage. I’m especially worried about hidden tire damage here.

I’m not sure why you’re doing this, but you need to figure out a way not to do this any more (but not by swinging your front end into oncoming traffic when you start your turn, as some especially poor drivers do).

I think you should worry.

I say this because a vehicle and tire is not designed to be hit against curbs. Something will give out and it could be bad news a highways speeds.

To alleviate worry go to a decent tire/alignment shop or independent mechanic and ask for an inspection at oil change time when car is on the lift.

Good luck, safe driving.

You should get your car inspected right now to assess any damage, to the tire in particular. Damaged sidewalls on your tire can lead to blowouts at highway speed, which is very dangerous.

You need to change your driving habits, once is too many times.

Nice. Another OP who asks a question she already knows the answer to, then argues with the people who agree with her. Super.

The crowd, in this case, is right again!

Ok, now that’s not fair. The OP never said it was a she or a he. :slight_smile:

(and “it” isn’t a designated sex, either, and not meant to be an insult)

My wife would be offended. However, she’s a rather excellent driver - I’m proud of that fact. She also wouldn’t ask this question…she knows better.

How worried should you be ?
If you haven’t learned how wide you vehicle is by now, that’s a big worry.
( My wife does NOT curb her Escape and she lost the vision in her right eye two years ago which ended all right side peripheral vision and depth perception. )
YOU have a problem.

You will eventually ruin your tires and knock out the camber and alignment. …cha-ching $

“Question is: how many times can I do this before I have to start worrying about breaking wheel bolts, bending an axle, or at the very least, throw my rear end out of alignment?”

Answer is: three times.

To be blunt, and to give you a real answer, your signin name is very appropriate. You can’t drive. Learn to drive, because one day you won’t clip a curb, you’ll clip a kid, or my car. Either way, you’ll be in a world of hurt. If you can’t figure out how to navigate your car around a corner without hitting things, you are a dangerous driver. You need to take driving lessons (they are available, even for non-teenagers) and practice driving so that you stop hitting things.

While that may not be what you want to hear, it is a real answer.

IF you’re kissing the curbs by getting too close , a set of good old fashioned curb feelers might help ( a little springy antenna looking wire that reaches out from the lower fender corner. ) they scrub the curb first and make noise . But there’s some reaction time neccessary for them to work for you. If you’re whacking the curb quickly they may not be enough to help you.