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How to report a pothole in Philadelphia

Mechanic explains how a pothole can damage your car
Mechanic explains how a pothole can damage your car 03:08

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- With winter weather including snow and ice falling on our region, and now rain moving in, Philadelphia is preparing for more potholes to form on the city's roads.

The Department of Streets repairs potholes and other damage to Philadelphia's streets. 

You can report street defects by calling 311 or using an online form.

You'll need to provide the pothole's exact location, size and shape - and if possible, a picture.

The online form is available at the link below.

Report a pothole or other street damage | Services | City of Philadelphia

How can potholes damage my car?

Jason Capone, owner of Foreign Fix Auto in South Philadelphia, says hitting a pothole could throw off your vehicle's wheel alignment.

Jason Capone owns Foreign Fix Auto in South Philadelphia. CBS News Philadelphia

Your steering might also be thrown off center, or your tires could be damaged, Capone said.

"Control arms, struts, axles, that's the stuff you don't want to have to replace," Capone said.

He showed us some examples of what those parts look like.

CBS News Philadelphia

Can insurance cover pothole damage to my car?

If your vehicle is damaged from hitting a pothole, it might be covered under your car insurance - but you'lll need collision coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

You'd be responsible for paying your deductible first, of course - and since the damage is typically not major, it may not be worth filing a claim.

In Pennsylvania, PennDOT says all claims of pothole damage must be investigated by the Bureau of Finance and Risk Management (FARM).

"FARM is bound by the provisions of Act 152 and is required to deny the claim. This applies to every claim except in very limited circumstances," PennDOT says on its website

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