If you have been in an auto accident and now your vehicle does not feel quite the same when you drive it, your car may have experienced frame damage. Even if things do not seem to be that much different in the way your vehicle operates after an accident, it is still important to have an experienced auto body shop carefully examine your car. If the frame of your car has been damaged, you could be risking another accident, more severe damage or even important equipment failure in your vehicle.
What Function Does A Car Frame Serve?
A car frame is very much like the skeleton of a vehicle. The frame is what keeps the wheels in alignment and supports the insides of a vehicle, such as the radiator. It also assists with the suspension system and bears the weight of all of the heavy parts of the vehicle to keep them in place and in the correct shape. If a car frame has become damaged, the vehicle is no longer supported properly; it may not drive straight, or the internal workings could shift out of position and cause failure.
A damaged frame can be noticed most easily in doors that no longer close properly, uneven wear on the tires that indicate that the car is pulling or leaning in one direction or unusual noises such as squeaking or rubbing.
How Do Frames Become Damaged?
Most often, car frames are damaged in an auto accident. When a vehicle is in a collision with another car or an object, the shock of the force on the car can crack or bend the frame. On the outside, you may only see dents or scratches from the collision; however, in much the same way that a person can break a bone without the break being visible externally, your car’s frame may be severely damaged, even if you cannot see it. And like a broken bone, a damaged frame that is left untreated can cause lasting damage, and the vehicle may not operate the same way again.
Once Damaged, Can A Car Frame Be Repaired?
The good news is that a car frame can often be repaired if it is taken to an auto body shop as soon as possible after the accident, before the damage worsens. It is important to work with an auto body shop that has experience in repairing frames, because not all shops possess the tools required. Frames can sometimes be bent back into shape using powerful hydraulic tools. Depending on the type of damage incurred, new parts may need to be welded in and old parts dismantled.
What Are The Expected Costs?
Because the frame is one of the largest and most extensive systems of a vehicle, it can be expensive to repair depending on the damage. Small dings and slight changes to the frame will cost less than salvaging an entirely mangled frame. On average, $600 to $1000 is the starting cost for repairing a car frame; however, if the car is important to you and will be functional after this repair, it is often worth making. More serious damage, such as a crumpled frame or bends that result in poor wheel alignment can cost much more. If your car’s doors no longer close, the bumper keeps falling off, or you cannot open the trunk or hood due to the contorted shape the damaged frame is causing, the process to fix it becomes significantly more complicated, and repairs could cost as much as $10,000 or more. A skilled auto body technician with experience in frame damage repair can advise you on how much you can expect to pay based on the current state of your car, as well as how well it will drive after the repair and how the frame restoration will impact your future ability to sell the vehicle.
Trust The Auto Body Repair Experts
If you have been in an auto accident, it is important that you have your car thoroughly examined by an auto body shop that works with frame damage. Even if you do not immediately notice signs of damage such as misaligned doors or odd noises, your car frame could still be compromised, putting you and others around you at risk of further accidents and harm. Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to take a look at your vehicle and advise you on the state of your car’s frame. If repairs are needed, we can provide an estimate that helps you to make an informed decision about repair. Reach out to schedule an appointment with an experienced auto body technician who works on frame damage.