Went over a curb, what to check for

About 3 weeks ago I was driving along when i lost traction in the back and hopped a curb at 15-20ish and plowed through a fire hydrant. The bumper has some cracks in it, and this is seemingly the only damage. there is no steering wheel wobble and no pull to the left or right. pretty sure i got lucky and didn’t cause suspension damage, but is there anything else i should check?

If this happened three weeks ago, and you haven’t noticed any problems with the vehicle?

Keep driving, and wait.


1 Like

It sounds like you lost traction and slid up over the curb. If that’s the case, you hit the curb laterally to the axis of the car. I’d get the rear end checked over, have the rear wheels checked for lateral runout (being bent sideways), and get a four wheel alignment done. I’m assuming it’s FWD and not AWD.

Many years ago I did this with a pickup truck with a solid rear axle. I hit “black ice” and slid off the road. Some years later my axle bearing began to make noise and, once it was raised on the rack and the axle flange checked with a dial gage it was discovered that the flange had been bent. It was no longer perpendicular to the axle within spec. It was bent just enough to cause the bearing failure.

In short, this can cause damage and you’re better to find out now that years from now. Finding out now can get it covered by the same insurance claim. And you’ll know you’re driving safely too.

1 Like

one friend of mine had similar failure on 4Runner after hitting curb on parking lot, under 10 miles per hour in his words: flange bent, bearing failed a couple of weeks after.

1 Like

I will strongly suggest that you have the car put on the alignment rack as a beginning move.

The car may drive fine with no apparent symptoms but that does not mean that everything is ok.

Left alone, there may come a point when you discover that badly worn tires are about to give up.

1 Like

the car went over the curb mostly forwards and not sideways, so lateral damage is most likely going to be minimal. I was coming around a slight curve to the right, and reacted enough to rotate the wheel a full rotation left trying to correct, but the wheels rolled over the curb forwards and not sideways. didn’t make myself very clear about that. the left back wheel was still on the road, and the right back didn’t slide sideways up the curb, so hopefully there wont be damage back there. I plan to get an inspection to make sure nothing is wrong, as well as jacking up the car and looking myself. It was suggested a while ago that i get an alignment, so i might as well do one now.

With all due respect, if you haven’t measure the car on an alignment rack you don’t KNOW if you’ve done any damage. This is all just speculation on your part. Even if the car drives straight and doesn’t pull, damage could still be enough to destroy tires in short order or worse, cause you to have an accident.

Get it into a suspension shop (not just a tire shop with an alignment rack!) and tell the service writer and/or alignment tech about your accident so they can go over the car with a critical eye.


I’ve done many repairs on cars which suffered curb strikes and which at times were thought to be inconsequential. The usual victim is a bent control arm; no matter how the curb was struck.

If you have an alignment performed and something is off on that side you should keep in mind that something is probably bent and claims of aligning it into shape is not fixing the problem.

1 Like

That’s good to hear, but I’d still recommend getting it checked. IMHO you’re better having it checked and having no damage found than having damage and not knowing.