Freezing temperatures and icy roads might be on their way out, but they’re likely leaving potholes in their wake. You can avoid the stress of pothole damage and these aggravating road dangers with a few safe driving tips from your friends at Advanced Auto Repair! Plus, if the unfortunate does happen and you hit a pothole that simply couldn’t be avoided, we’ve highlighted six signs of potential damage for you to keep an eye out for.

If you find yourself jolted by an unforeseen pothole (surprise!), keep an eye out for these common signs of pothole damage:

The steering wheel seems off-center.

If your steering wheel seems uneven after hitting a pothole, it very well might be. If you’re noticing this issue, the wheel alignment needs to be checked. Alternatively, it could mean the pothole caused some damage to a steering component.

You’re hearing weird noises.

Strange car noises are never really a good sign, but after hitting a pothole it could mean that you’ve damaged something within your vehicle’s exhaust system. This calls for a vehicle inspection as soon as possible.

The steering wheel shakes.

If your steering wheel is vibrating or shaking after hitting a pothole, you may have accidentally damaged a tire or rim. It could also mean that there is an issue with the wheel balance.

Your car pulls to one side.

Does your car drift or lead to one side after the pothole collision? This most likely signals an alignment problem, which is common after encountering a particularly deep pothole.

Your car doesn’t handle the way it usually does.

You know how your car drives. After all, it’s practically your baby! You’re very familiar with how it handles and you’re likely to notice if something feels “off.” If your ride seems bumpier than normal or if it simply drives differently, trust your instincts and get it checked out by one of our ASE-certified technicians.

You have a flat tire.

This issue will make itself obvious, but it’s important that you do not try to drive on your flat! This can cause more extensive (and expensive) damage to your wheel.