Here’s what could happen and what you can do about it.
If you’ve hit the pothole hard enough, you may have bent a rim. You can tell you’ve damaged the rim if your vehicle vibrates as you drive away, but that is not the only indication. Other symptoms are if your tire pressure light came on or if your tire goes flat. Both can be evidence of a bent rim.
Another result of hitting a pothole is your vehicles control arms maybe damaged. If your steering starts to feel like it’s involuntarily pulling to the left or right, it’s time to bring your vehicle in and have the control arms checked! Hitting a pothole can cause this kind of damage. If you drive around like this long enough, you’ll wear out your tires sooner and lose gas mileage!”
“Crack the plastic? You’ll surely notice that right away and may be tempted to tape it up … DON’T. Your vehicle has strategically placed air vents for cooling. Covering any part of them with duct tape could cause your vehicle to overheat which could leave you stranded.”
“You likely are worried about the integrity of your tire. The tire may have sustained damage that isn’t what you think. Obviously, a puncture would come to mind and you will know that is the problem when you quickly lose air. However, there are other less apparent things to consider. Tires have belts inside that could have shifted during impact. You could also end up with bulges in your tire after hitting a pothole. Shifted belts and bulging tires make the tire weak. You’ll end up replacing them sooner and it will negatively affect your gas mileage.
At the very least, 95% of time, after you hit a pothole, your alignment will be off and need to be adjusted.