Addressing things that go "bump-d..." in the night.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Nov 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

The highway I take to work has one lousy job of patchwork on it. Every seam and pothole is just another bump. What happens is you go "bump-d-bump-d-bump-d-bump" for several miles! What does this do to wheel balance, alignment, and tires?

RAY: It really destroys them, Fred. Seriously, this is one of the things that really wrecks cars.

TOM: Think about it. When you go over a bump, it's like somebody punching you. And the faster you drive, the harder the punch. So when you drive over a bump at 60 MPH, it's like getting punched by Mike Tyson instead of by my wimpy little brother.

RAY: And when you drive on a highway like this day after day, you can easily knock the tires out of balance by causing weights to fall off. You can break belts in the tires, or cause them to cup and wear unevenly. You can wear out your shocks, your ball joints, your tie rod ends, your steering components, and just about everything else under there.

TOM: So if you want this car to last, you have to find another route to work, Fred. If you can't find another way to get to work, then consider changing jobs. It sounds like the local highway department could use a few good men.

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