There are two main types of vehicle frames – unibody and ladder. Older vehicles typically have ladder frames, while most newer cars are built on unibody frames. We are going to focus on unibody frames in this blog. Unibody means that the frame and the body of the car are one (as seen in the below photo); damages to this type of frame are routinely repairable.
Unibody frames feature “crumple zones” which are areas designed to fold and absorb the impact of a collision. While this makes the car safer for the occupants, it also means that even in low-speed impacts vehicles can suffer significant damage to the frame.
Nearly half of all traffic accidents result in some kind of damage to the core inner frame of your vehicle. If the frame was bent but not structurally weakened, in most cases, it can be fixed.
When frame damage is diagnosed in your vehicle, don’t panic! Depending on the extent of the damage, we should be able to straighten your car’s frame.
There are a few ways to tell if your vehicle has frame damage; here are a couple that are more easily identified:
- Frame is visibly bent or damaged – look for signs of rust, cracks, or creases in the frame or exterior of the vehicle
- Alignment is off – if your vehicle is pulling in one direction even after you have had an alignment done
- Unusual noises – a bend in the frame can cause creaking, squeaking, or other unusual noises from the side, front and/or rear of the vehicle
- Uneven tire wear – a bent frame can affect the suspension and alignment which will cause uneven tire wear
- Parts don’t fit correctly – the frame is the foundation of the vehicle, if it is bent the doors, windows, and body panels may not line up correctly
- Wheels track poorly – if you are driving straight and your vehicle is moving diagonal, then you have a bent frame that needs immediate attention!
You can drive a vehicle with a bent frame, however, we do not recommend it! A frame that is unknowingly weakened or bent can place a vehicle’s occupants unnecessarily at risk during a subsequent accident.
The best way to check for a bent car frame is to schedule an estimate at our shop and we can put your vehicle up on our frame machine to check for any frame damage. Call us today at (303) 278-1903 or visit us online at www.autosportcollisionrepair.com to schedule your free estimate appointment!