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Ran over metal something on freeway

Hi there.

Just now on my way home from work, I

  • Ran over a metal piece on freeway (~65mph)
  • It made a loud THUNK
  • No extra sounds

This was right at the freeway exit and I drove home (another ten minutes, stop and go, top speed like 40) with no sounds or rumbling or dash lights. However, there’s…

  • A drift towards passenger side
  • Front right rim has large piece cracked off
  • When going slow, I hear some noise maybe?

Do these sound like common post-run over something issues that I can kind of…ignore for a couple of days? I’m worried about getting to work, but not damaging my car further would be more important.



You’ve seriously damaged AT LEAST your wheel, VERY LIKELY your tire, and VERY LIKELY a component critical to control of your vehicle. Any of them could easily fail catastrophically and cause sudden loss of control, even a rollover.

IMHO you have your priorities backwards. The most important thing here is safety. Until this gets evaluated by a competent shop and corrected, consider this vehicle unsafe to drive. The wheel and/or a damaged suspension component could easily fail suddenly and cause you to be in a major crash. This isn’t safe.

I implore you… please have this towed to a reputable shop for a good evaluation. Your life could depend on it.


@rabbitslayereski Read Mr. Mountains post twice. You have a vehicle pulling to one side and a piece of wheel missing and you can’t expect anyone to tell you this is safe to drive.

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Ah… ok. Thanks for making that clear. I guess the situation is what it is.

Life is what happens to us when we least expect it. The best we can do is “roll with the punches”. You’ll get past the damage you have, but getting past a major accident might not be so easy.

Let us know how you make out. We’re crude sometimes, but we do care.

At the very least you have to pull the wheel off and put the spare on. While the wheel is off with a good light take a completer look at the steering components-tie rod end, brake line, ball joint, etc. Look for any scratches that would indicate if the thing hit anything. Then you can fully inspect the wheel and tire for cuts and chunks missing. If everything looks ok underneath you might be able to hobble to a shop with the spare but I think you’re going to need a new wheel and probably tire plus an inspection and alignment.

South of Chicago heading for Minnesota I hit a big U shaped chunk of metal. Must have been some kind of cover. Bumper to bumper at 70+ mph so no warning and there it was. Managed to straddle it and heard the bump underneath and the thing spinning on the road. I checked for any loss of fluids and when I got home found just a 1 X 6 inch piece of the plastic shield underneath that was ripped. I was lucky I didn’t hit it with a tire or got a brake line or something. Sometimes you just can’t avoid this stuff.

Sometimes you just can’t avoid this stuff.I agree that is why I like my high clearance truck’s so I can try to straddle thing’s whenever possible.

Yeah we’ve discovered that one tire is definitely letting air out, sooooo unpaid day off from work + spare tire + REALLY hoping this can be solved in one day at the shop.

The “drift” really isn’t that noticeable at all. I’m more concerned by this weird shaking the steering wheel does now.

How very true.
I once whacked a large stone that fell off a truck. Blew two tires.

A colleague about 6 years ago was with his wife driving his brand new S2000 on the highway into Boston when a truck in front of him suddenly lost a pallet of 8X8X16 concrete blocks. They bounced all over the road. Tore up the entire underneath of his car. It was all ultimately repaired, with no bad residue, but it was a mess. There were a number of cars that sustained severe damage. The road was shut down for a while, but fortunately nobody was injured.

I remember one time in Fla. during rush hour a truck lost 2 or 3 50# box’s of roofing nail’s talk about a mess.

The drift is trying to tell you something. It’s a warning sign. You’ve very likely damaged something underneath the car.

About 10 years ago I was coming home from town one night. I live out in the sticks and it was cold, cloudy, and pitch black.
At the last second I saw something (which turned out to be a piece of iron) and hit it with the LF wheel. There was a loud thunk and the tire went down immediately.

So off in the grass I discovered the car was sitting too low to get the jack under. This led to my waiting until someone came by and gave me a ride to my house 8 miles away. I came back with another of my cars and a few small floor jacks.

I still had to dig some dirt out to get the jack underneath. Once elevated I found the piece of iron had not only slashed the inside of the tire wide open, it had also slashed the LF airbag open and sunk the front end clean to the ground.
I got the T-type spare on, went and got my wife, and had her drive the other car back home while I gingerly drove the 8 miles at 15 MPH max; trying to keep from scraping the nose.

too bad it wasn’t a lug wrench. Than u could take off wheel with it


Ouch! Now I’ve seen everything!

I was stopped at a left turn light when a flat bed truck came through the intersection on a green light carrying two porta potties on the bed. One bounced off and hit the road. Luckily it wasn’t occupied at the time.

Now that’s trick. I wrecked one tire in town at 45 mph. Instant blow out and shredded the tire. Never found anything laying in the road but it had to be a big piece of metal. Quick run to Target for two new tires, back when they had auto service, sold tires, and were open till 9:00, and back when I had a full sized spare.

That is somewhat similar to the call that a co-worker once got from his wife, regarding their house.
Her first words were, "Well, I think that it’s mostly smoke damage.

Heeding warning signs is very important.

Please show us a picture of the rim with the piece cut out. Are you sure it isn’t a missing piece of a hubcap? You shouldn’t drive the car until you are certain what damage was done. The best way to do this is on a lift, but I imagine you don’t have one. Check the tires by rolling forwards or backwards at least one tire rotation, a quarter turn at a time. That way you can check the inside, outside, and tread of the tire all the way around. It will require that someone get on their hands and knees and possibly lie on their back to get a good look at the inner side of the tires.

Here’s the update:

Apparently I lucked out–worst damage is a bent wheel letting air out so I need a new wheel. The strange part was drivers side front hubcap was cracked but the passenger side is the bent one with no damage between the two. Thanks for all the feedback, guys, I appreciate it.

I have a 7/16" wrench in my toolbox that I pulled out of a tire. It’s an off brand, but it’s only a little chewed up, lol