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What are potholes costing drivers?

Potholes are a regular annoyance for drivers, but do they know just how much damage potholes can do to their vehicles?

The continual shock to the vehicle’s various systems can impact many different areas, and although suspension and tyres are the first components to be thought of, what about lighting?

When a vehicle goes down a pothole, there’s usually a large thud, but generally, the vehicle continues on its journey without much more thought other than “that was a big pothole!” But technicians should be educating drivers on what the impact those potholes may have on the vehicle’s systems.

While many technicians focus on the damage potholes can do to the tyres, suspension, wheel balancing and tracking, automotive lighting supplier Ring, is urging technicians to begin checking bulbs when customers come in with a pothole-related job.

Halogen bulbs and sealed beam headlights have very fine tungsten wire filaments inside that glow and produce light when it’s heated. This filament is likely to break at some point in the bulb’s lifespan.

However, as can be appreciated, this can be exacerbated if the vehicle is continually driving through potholes because a bulb experiences a large vibration shock every time the vehicle goes down one, and this may impact the filament inside and cause it to break.

If a customer comes into the workshop and mentions or complains about potholes in the road, a technician can take this opening to look at their bulbs and check if they need replacing.

If they find that any have failed, this then provides the extra opportunity to offer them an upgraded bulb such as Ring’s Long Life bulb.

Ring’s range of Long Life bulbs contain molybdenum structures to support the filament minimising vibration impacts from potholes. These bulbs can also operate at higher voltages above the standard 12V operating current, as more and more vehicles are operating at 13-14V due to the increase in electrics, this shortens the life of bulbs.