Is Your Shop Talking About Potholes As Much As It Should?

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We can all agree that potholes are bad. We can also agree that potholes are boring. They’re not a hot discussion topic for anyone outside the paving industry.

But here’s the thing: If you run a repair shop, you need to talk about potholes.

Pothole Damage Is Incredibly Common

AAA has studied vehicle pothole damage, and the results are incredible:

  • Potholes cause an estimated $3 billion per year in vehicle damage
  • The average pothole damage repair bill is over $300
  • The average car has pothole damage that requires repair about once a year

And these figures do not include consumers who don’t know their vehicle has pothole damage – it’s self-reported data. The true figures are undoubtedly higher.

Potholes this size can be costly. Photo Credit:

Talking About Potholes With Every Customer

Potholes can damage tires, wheels, wheel bearings and hubs, wheel alignment and balance, and more. This damage isn’t always obvious, and a lot of drivers aren’t aware of pothole damage risks. To make sure your customers understand pothole damage risks, try the following:

  • During check-in, ask the customer if they’ve hit any potholes recently.
  • While they’re waiting, ask the customer if they’ve noticed potholes in a popular nearby road.
  • Before they leave, warn the customer about potholes near the shop.

When you engage the customer on one of these points, be sure to follow-up with information about the damage that potholes can do. Your customers need to know to avoid potholes, and that hitting a pothole should prompt them to get their vehicle checked.

Pothole lined streets are a liability for every vehicle. Photo Credit:

Potholes And Regular Repairs

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to relate regular repairs back to pothole damage. If, for example, the customer’s vehicle needs a new wheel hub and bearing, you can explain that every pothole impact causes wear and tear. If the customer’s vehicle is a few years old, it’s undoubtedly hit a few potholes.

What’s more, if your shop is regularly talking about pothole damage, your loyal customers will better understand the need to invest in quality replacement parts. Saving a few dollars on a replacement part doesn’t make much sense if the quality is so bad that one good pothole can break it.

After all, investing in quality replacement parts is a good way to limit pothole damage.


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