I hit a curb with my front passenger side! So, should you be worried? What and what should you be checking for? We will talk about all these right here. We have all had that moment where we lose focus, make a small error, and suddenly, hit a curb. This isn’t just about feeling awkward, but it’s also a serious concern about your car, especially when the hit is on the front passenger side.
I Hit a Curb with My Front Passenger Side
If your car’s front passenger side hits a curb, you should definitely be worried. Even a low-speed collision can cause various problems, such as damage to tires and wheels or misalignment of the suspension. Although modern cars can handle small bumps, if curb hits are not checked, they can lead to more serious problems later.
If you don’t get your front passenger side checked after a curb hit, you might face several other problems. Damage that is not visible and fixed can get worse. It’ll typically lead to tire wear and tear, alignment issues, and even failures in the suspension parts. Don’t ignore this to avoid shortening the life of these parts or putting you and others on the road at risk because of reduced stability and control of your car.
Even a small hit with a curb can damage your car. This depends on things like how you hit the curb, how fast you were going, and how high the curb is. A light bump might not seem to cause any damage, but it can still mess up wheel alignment or hurt parts inside the car. A stronger hit will probably cause more obvious damage, like bent rims, damaged tires, or broken suspension parts.
What to Check for After Hitting a Curb?
You should check the wheel bearing. If you turn the wheel on a vehicle that has coil springs, you’ll be able to feel something like some kind of a twitch or a movement or something. So if you grab the spring here while the vehicle is raised up on jack stands and secured, rotate the wheel and grab over the top of the wheel onto the spring. If the spring makes some kind of a weird feel or noise, or if you get a ‘whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa’ sound on the freeway, you may have damaged your wheel bearing. The bearings and the races can smash when they hit the curb from the abrupt force and they can create all kinds of havoc on your wheel bearing where you have to replace it.
Sidewall of the Tire
The next thing to check is the sidewall of the tire on your front passenger side. If the tire gets away okay, you may have damage to the sidewall. What you should look for is any kind of gouging or penetration that can cause a blowout on the freeway later. If it’s cut through on the verge of failure, the other thing is the damage to the belts that run in this. If you have a bulge or something sticking out on the tire, you need to get that checked out and/or replaced immediately.
You can bend your wheel or break your wheel when you hit a curb with your front passenger side. Sometimes you get away with just minor curb rash, other times you’ll have a major bend or something that causes your wheel to basically ruin the ride of your vehicle. Now, there are two things on the list that can cause kind of a wobble sound as you are driving, one of them is a wheel. Let’s talk about the next thing to check after hitting the curb with your front passenger side.
Strut and Strut Mount
You also have to check the strut and the strut mount. It’s not just limited to these parts; in fact, any component in this area can be damaged. The tie rod end is another part that can be affected. The next most likely thing to get damaged would either be your strut or your stabilizer link that connects to the strut. These components absorb a lot of impact. Think of the strut as your upper control arm. So, the upper part of your spindle, or this steering knuckle assembly, is the strut, while the bottom part is the lower control arm. The lower control arm can be affected, and the same can happen to a strut. You should look out for a crease at the bottom of the tube, any kind of distortion, or a clean spot around the bolts. These signs can indicate that something has been hit or has gone wrong.
Lower Control Arm
The next component you should check is your lower control arm. This part can often be damaged when you hit a curb with your front passenger side, though it’s not always the only issue. At first look, these control arms seem okay. There doesn’t appear to be anything noticeably wrong with them. They all seem pretty straight until you examine the ends. When you look at the end, it’s evident that one is significantly bent. Looking at this side of the lower control arm, you’ll notice a slight shine, indicating where it has made contact with the brake rotor, pressing firmly against it. On the other side, there is a similar shine. It’s not tilted to one side, but rather, it appears to be affected on both ends, almost as if it’s being peeled off from both sides. There is also a spot here where it has actually split slightly. This kind of damage can really mess up your vehicle’s alignment.
When you hit a curb on the front passenger side, it can shock the suspension system and throw off the alignment. Your car might start pulling to one side or the tires might wear unevenly. This shows misalignment, which can affect how your car handles and its fuel usage.
Problems with the Undercarriage
The undercarriage of your car could get different kinds of damage from hitting a curb on the front passenger side.
The impact on your front passenger side might cause damage that leads to fluid leaks. This can be bad for the engine and other parts.
A scratch or damage on the front passenger-side bumper. Even though it might seem like just a surface issue, cosmetic damage is important too. It can affect how your car looks and its value if you want to sell it. You might also see noticeable scratches, dents, or scrapes on the wheel or the car’s body.
The paint could chip or wear away, leaving the metal underneath open to rust. The protective covers and shields under the car might get damaged. This can leave sensitive parts open to damage from road debris.
How to Check Your Car’s Front Passenger Side After Hitting a Curb
Now let’s look at how to check each part of your car’s front passenger side for damage after hitting a curb.
1. The Tire
So, you want to start with a visual check. First, look at the tire’s sidewall for any visible damage like cuts, bulges, or holes. You also have to inspect the tire pressure. You can use a tire pressure gauge to make sure the pressure is okay. Be on the lookout for any slow leaks that might cause the pressure to drop over time.
Next, look for any strange wear patterns or unevenness on the tire’s tread. This could mean there’s a problem with alignment or hidden damage inside the tire. It will also help if you take a closer look at the wheel rim to see if any bends, dents, cracks, or other types of structural damage could affect its strength.
Once done with the above checks, monitor the balance of your car. If it vibrates when you drive, especially at certain speeds, it could mean there’s a problem with the wheel’s balance because of damage to the rim.
2. Check the Transmission
For the transmission, you’ll also begin with a visual inspection. Look at the transmission and its parts for any obvious damage. Watch out for any strange noises, problems with changing gears, or signs of leaking transmission fluid while you’re driving.
3. The Alignment
You’ll be able to inspect the alignment through a test drive. Drive your car on a straight, flat road. Pay attention to see if the car drifts to one side when you’re not steering. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner, I have a guide about keeping the car straight when driving—make sure to check it out. Just make sure the steering wheel is straight when you are driving straight. A steering wheel that’s not straight can be a sign of alignment problems.
4. Identify Cosmetic Damage
Go over the body of the car to find any scratches, dents, or areas where the paint is damaged from the impact. Look at the wheels to see if they are straight and lined up. Wheels that aren’t aligned might point to both cosmetic and deeper damage.
5. Inspect the Suspension Parts
Push down hard on the front corner of your car (where it hit the curb) and let go. If the car bounces a lot, it could mean the struts or shocks are damaged. Next, look under the car for any clear damage to the control arms or other parts of the suspension. Your inspection should extend to the undercarriage. Here, you can also look for fluid leaks from under the car. This could be due to damaged pipes or reservoirs after hitting the curb on the front passenger side.
6. Test the Steering
Now, try to get a feel of the drive. Drive carefully and notice any odd steering behaviors, like the car pulling to one side, too much looseness, or shaking in the steering wheel. Also, pay attention to any rattling or knocking sounds when you turn the steering wheel. These sounds could mean there’s damage to parts like the tie rods or sway bars.
4 Tips to Keep Your Car’s Front Passenger Side from Hitting a Curb Again
Let’s talk about how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. These few tips will help you avoid hitting the curb another time.
1. Get to Understand Your Vehicle
Know the size and shape of your car. Adjust your mirrors and seat the right way and practice parking. This can really help you avoid hitting curbs, especially with the front passenger side of your car.
2. Use Technology
You can use parking sensors and cameras for extra eyes to see everything around your car. This will really help you avoid curbs.
3. Driving Carefully and Thoughtfully
Be careful when you drive. Keep a speed that lets you react quickly, stay away from other cars, and be extra careful in busy places. If necessary, you can take a driving course or use a driving simulator to get better at driving and avoid hitting curbs. If you do feel timid, I made an article that will help you drive without being afraid—make sure to check it out.
4. Consider a Curb Ramp
You should install a curb ramp to protect your vehicle, especially the front passenger side, from hitting curbs. It makes getting in and out of your driveway easier and reduces the chance of damaging the underside of your car.
So, we have been able to look into this concern: I hit a curb with my front passenger side! We have also covered the things you need to check to make sure you are not driving a broken vehicle. After you have checked your car’s front passenger side, everything might not be fine. So, don’t wait. Go and see your mechanic and make sure everything is working just as it should.