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Pothole Horror Stories

What is your entry for worst pothole damage?

I’m curious b.c our 2003 VW Passat Wagon (no, we didn’t get rid of it last December, lost the 95 Geo instead) hit something…and now the front 2 coils and struts are in need of replacement and wheels need an alignment.

Crazy part? We have no idea what pothole might have done it. Unless it was that long hole in I-91…

Pot hole? Try driving into a man hole! My son did.

Apparently the utility company failed to set the man hole cover completely over the man hole. My sons vehicle rear tire hit the cover on one side which caused the man hole cover to flip up at which time the rear tire fell into the man hole and the man hole cover tore off the rear bottom spring mount. He retrieved the rear spring and mount that shot out from under the vehicle and then had the vehicle towed to the shop. I straightened out the spring mount and welded it back in place and reinstalled the spring.


The absolute worst pothole I’ve ever seen in my life was not really a pothole but more of a moon crater. Back in the 70s my girlfriend (now my wife) decided to take in a drive-in movie in Amarillo, TX.
It was dark when we got there so I turned off the headlamps and noticed there was a skimpy crowd that night. About 4 rows in I started to turn and saw what looked like a hole in front of me but it was so dark I couldn’t tell much about it. No big deal, just went on down a row and then turned back toward the screen.

About 10 minutes later someone pulls, windows down and looking back at the movie, and turns into that row with the hole. I thought nothing of it at the time but a few seconds later there was a horrendous crash and both front park lights completely disappeared along with most of the nose of the car. My girlfriend/wife had been so engrossed in the movie it scared her to death.

I got out and the 2 people in there were ok but the car was standing nose down and tail up with both rear wheels clean off the ground. This “pothole” was about 6 or 7 feet wide and in the neighborhood of 5-6 feet deep.
The theater owner had to call a wrecker out and of course that kind of ruined the movie with all of the talking, chain rattling, flashing lights and so on.
The car has a bent up bumper, broken grille and lights, buckled hood, and that’s just what I could detect in the dim lighting.

No idea how a hole like this was allowed to exist and my thought was better him than me. It amazed me that a business owner would even think of allowing something like this on his property.

Have you seen the world’s strongest man competition where they play tiddlywinks with manhole covers?

I bent 3 17in wheels and ruined 3 17 225/40ZR tires as the plies in the sidewalls where damaged causes them to bubble; hitting a couple of Potholes at 70mph on I-70 in Missouri. It sounded like a crash when I hit them at night so I didn’t see them in time to avoid them. I tried to get the state to pay for the damage, but to no avail. I had the wheels repaired and new tires for around 650 dollars. Thanks potholes haha

Here in NH we’re use to them, so when I drive I’m constantly on the lookout for them…One nice thing about driving a truck is that they handle them a lot better then small cars.

A few years back…there was a nasty one in MA on I-495N…it was in the far right lane on the bridge that crossed I-93. You would only be over there if you were going to exit I-495N to I-93N. It was probably early March before the hot tar plants were open for the year. So any pot-holes this time of year were repaired with a cold patch…The cold patches last about 2-3 days MAX. Well one day driving home…this little dweeb driving a small car (too dark to tell what it was)…decided he wanted to cut me off before the exit…I wouldn’t let him…So he pulled in behind me about 5" from my bumper…and then put his hi-beams on…Well approaching the exit I noticed the pothole and drove right over it…the little dweeb was so close he couldn’t see it and drove over it too. My 4runner bounced a little, but it handled it ok…his little car didn’t…Next thing I knew he was pulling off the road on the ramp…I just HAD to see what happened…so I drove around the clover-leaf and got back onto 495 and took the exit again…Drove by nice and slow and there the punk was…off the road…with the right-wheel of his car pointing in a completely different direction then the front of the car.

“I bent 3 17in wheels and ruined 3 17 225/40ZR tires as the plies in the sidewalls where damaged causes them to bubble”

That is actually a fairly frequent occurrence with those 40-series tires.
Those tires might look nice to some folks (not including me), but they don’t have enough mass in their sidewalls to absorb a strong impact, and the result is the need to replace tires and to repair or replace wheels.

Switching to 60-series tires would eliminate much of this hazard for you.

Sorry, but I’m not replacing the 40 series tires on my Porsche Boxster.
I like the way it handles with them, and it just wouldn’t handle the same with 60 series tires instead.


A few years back there was a traffic jam caused by a pot hole. So many cars became disabled due to flat tires or suspension damage after hitting a giant pot hole on the Dan Ryan in Chicago that it brought the expressway traffic to a stand still.

As the old saying goes, “You pays your money, and you takes your choice”.