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Last night, I drove over a big and deep hole on the road. I was going about 30 mph. The driver side front tire hit the hole and made a loud sound as everything in my car shock. This is the first 18" I have ever had. Since it has low profile tires, would it damage the rim, suspention, or alignment? Has this happend to anyone else? I have notice that eh driver side is about 1/4 inch lower than the passenger side since then. Is this normal?
This is my brand new car. I just don't want anything to happen to it.
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Since there's less "cushion", of course it will be easier to bottom out the tire against the rim and cause damage, compared to a "normal" tire. Take extra care with bumps. Same thing happens with bicycle tires, where running ridiculously small tires increases the incidence of "pinch flats" and rim damage from bumps. Just how much force it takes to bottom the RX8 tire against the rim, I don't know. I've hit a couple of potholes but nothing I would call severe. I do run slightly high pressure (34 psi), in part to offset that risk, but more because I like how it handles at that press.
Since you hit a big one, check for dents or bulges where the rim meets the tire (on the inside as well).
There are a number of threads on the left side of the car being lower than the right. It's common and no one is certain why.
Better to measure from the top of the wheel wheel well or rocker panel. A hard surface. The bumpers are flexible and not the most precise place to take a measurement.
You might want to get your alignment checked too. And the front suspension components. If you don't know what to look for bring it to Mazda or a good front end shop. If you hit that hard there could be issues.
Trust me. I have to drive around the Detroit area. I know about bad roads and pot holes. I had lost quite a few rims on my other car when I ran lower profile tires. The worst I can tell you that I have had was that the wheel became out of round and vibrated at around 80mph. The alignment never really got effected. It still tracked straight and no unusual tire wear. If it tracks straight, it might still be OK. Does the steering wheel shake at higher speeds?
No, the steering wheel doesn't shake at high speed. I haven't noticed anything being different when driving so far. The alignment didn't get affected. But it does pull to the right a little. It's been like this since I got it brand new. Not really noticable though. Maybe it's because the road isn't really flat. You know, it's usually tilted to the right to drain the rain.