How speed bumps damage your car
Image via Flickr by Brett VA

Hitting a speed bump a little too quickly will remind you to slow down in neighborhoods and parking lots. It happens to everyone on occasion. If you hit them frequently, though, they could cause serious damage to your car. Once you know more about how speed bumps destroy your car, you’ll slow down the next time you encounter one.

1. Speed Bumps Can Destroy Your Shocks

Your car has shocks that absorb most of the road’s imperfections. You don’t feel every pebble that you run over. You can also hit small dips without even noticing. That’s because shocks have a coil shape that responds to changes in the road. Unfortunately, they can only absorb so much. Hitting a pothole makes you jump because the shocks can’t absorb such a quick dip. A similar thing happens when you run over speed bumps. When you cross them too quickly, your shocks simply can’t absorb the energy that quickly, causing them to bend in unintended ways.

After you run over enough speed bumps, the shocks can start to shatter, leaving your car with little to no protection. Broken shocks also create a safety hazard. Without them, your tires can actually leave the road when you come to a sudden stop. Once airborne, you don’t have any control over your vehicle.

2. Speed Bumps Can Destroy Your Steering

When shocks go bad, the rest of your car gets punished. The road’s vibrations can negatively affect some of the car’s most important systems. Steering is often the second thing to go. With no shocks for protection, the steering system gets shaken mercilessly during every trip. All of those crushing vibrations can:

• throw your wheels out of alignment

• break the steering rack mounts

• cause leaks in the power steering fluid reservoir

Virtually anything can happen to those sensitive parts when you drive over a speed bump too quickly.

3. Speed Bumps Can Destroy Your Exhaust System

Today’s exhaust systems make cars quieter and more efficient while reducing vehicle emissions. However, it’s easy to damage an exhaust system when you go over a speed bump too fast. The exhaust system sits right underneath the car. If the speed bump causes your car to jump off the road, even a small amount, you could smack your exhaust system on the blacktop when you land. When you damage your exhaust system, all of those benefits disappear. If you live in a state that requires vehicle emissions tests, then you face an even bigger problem: you have to get the exhaust repaired just to keep driving your car.

4. Speed Bumps Can Destroy Your Tires

Only the flat surface of your tires should touch the road. If the sidewalls touch, then they can quickly wear thin, which puts you one step closer to a blowout. The impact of jumping a speed bump could force the sides of your tires down far enough to scrape the ground. It’s not the most expensive problem you’ll get from driving over speed bumps too quickly, but it can become a serious nuisance.

Have you ever damaged your car on a speed bump? What part did the speed bump damage?

How Speed Bumps Destroy Your Car

3 thoughts on “How Speed Bumps Destroy Your Car

  • March 16, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    My car hit a speed dip couldn’t have been going no more then 30-40 residential scraped bottom but don’t know whether to take in to have shocks and tires checked. Only damage I seen was the protector underneath scraped deep and when I went over it and slammed breaks right before car hit down in front but continued but it smacked hard basically a missed hit from not seeing it in dark what should I look out for or if it’s driving fine could it take a thud like that

    • March 27, 2015 at 11:39 am

      While it is impossible to say without seeing the car, any major damage would probably be immediately noticeable. Keep an eye out for new leaks and bring it by a trusted mechanic to evaluate it for damage.

  • April 8, 2015 at 11:38 am

    I have found a lot of the same problems when I drove over a speed bump too fast, and I have a 20 year old car. I have some information to share, my car has been having problems ever since the bump, and now its hesitating when I try to accelerate. Now I realize that the bump may have caused it, I am almost certain that the problem is coming from my CV joints, and I believe its because my CV joints are either worn or damaged because of the bump. So if this information is helpful, your welcome.

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