You step out of your vehicle after a collision and scan the exterior of your car for crash-related damage. Like most of us, you’re concerned with the scratches, dents, and other surface damage that are in plain sight. But after an accident, the worst of the damage may be hidden deeper and related to the frame itself. Even small collisions like curb checks can cause major damage which is linked to frame repair. When left untouched, a bent frame can cause even more harm to other parts of the vehicle. Fortunately, many qualified body shops will offer straightening as well as other repair services to return your car to its pre-accident condition.
Determining the Damage
Usually, when a collision causes damage to the frame of the vehicle, the insurance company will total the car. But sometimes, a vehicle with a bent frame will slip past a post-collision inspection. Since the frame is the backbone of the vehicle, its strength is extremely important. Frame repair then, is extremely important.
To determine if there is something wrong with your frame after a collision, an auto body specialist can do a few different things. Usually what alerts a driver to bring their car for a frame examination is alignment issues that keep occurring. If you have recently had an alignment (or have had multiple alignments) and your car is still pulling to one side, you may have a bent framed. Again, frame repair is needed.
Another sign that your frame may be bent is referred to as the “crab walk”. Instead of following directly behind the front tires, tires on a vehicle with a bent frame will move a bit sideways. To determine if your car is “walking” this way, have someone drive behind you and look for the telltale sign.
Wear and Tear
Another sign of a bent frame is more wear and tear on certain parts such as the suspension and shocks. When a vehicle’s frame has been damaged during a collision, there is a shift in weight. The vehicle’s weight will no longer be distributed all over, but instead, weigh on certain parts. Because of these changes in weight balance, certain parts will break down more quickly and need to be addressed.
What Can be Done
If you suspect damage to your frame, having someone take a look at the actual frame is the first step. It’s really important that this task is performed by a collision specialist that knows what they are looking for and can tell the difference between major and minor issues. Usually, a bent frame will show creases or have an unusual angle. After looking at the frame, your specialist will know if collision damage exists.
If we determine that damage does exist there are a couple of different options for repair. If the damage is slight, hydraulic pulls can bend things back into shape or possibly welded. Another option is frame cutting, but this comes when the damage is too great to be repaired by hydraulic shaping. If for some reason, the frame cannot be straightened or the cost would be too great, you will learn that information also.
If you have been involved in a crash our experts at Orlando Auto Body can determine if your frame has been bent. We can also take care of everything from the actual repairs to the filing of your insurance. To set up an appointment, give us a call at 480-351-2369.