Most drivers are familiar with the gut-dropping feeling of running full-tilt over a speed bump. If you’re anything like me, you just clench your teeth, scream inside, and then immediately pretend that nothing happened and everything is fine. Well, friends, you’re about to see what actually, really happens to your car—in slow motion—when you go crashing over a bump and it’s just as jarring as you imagined.
This little experiment comes courtesy of Warped Perception on YouTube, featuring his see-through car, which is basically just a Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan with all the body panels ripped off so you can see what’s actually going on.
I don’t think we should have to make this little notation, but, seriously: don’t do this at home. As you’ll see in the video, there are a few instances where the Merc almost careens into a parked vehicle. This is solely for educational purposes!
The ultimate concession of the video is that... nothing that terrible happens to the car. If you only go full send over a speed bump every once in a while, you might bottom out, but your suspension isn’t going to collapse or anything quite that dramatic. If this is something that only happens once or twice a year for you, your car will be fine.
But the one thing that this video doesn’t show is what happens in the long run. Y’know, when you’re crushing speed bumps on a daily basis, bottoming out and bumping your way across raised rolls of asphalt.
The more you drive like an asshole, the more your suspension, steering, exhaust, and tires will be impacted. You could possibly knock off your exhaust system or blow a tire in just one bad hit. You can bend your shocks, or they can end up leaking the hydraulic fluid that’s necessary for absorbing all those awful impacts.
Every once in a while, though? You should be fine.