Your car is meant to stay resilient in the face of some damage. Doing so keeps you safe on the road rather than letting the car crumple to pieces or twist unnecessarily under the pressure of a collision. However, even if you can still drive your car after an accident, you might still have a bent car frame underneath that could put you at risk for more damage in the future. The good news is that you can often fix a bent car frame; it does not need to mean that your car is totaled. Here’s what you need to know about how to fix a bent car frame.
Types of Car Frame Damage
Your car’s frame is like its skeleton. When you collide with an object or another vehicle, the force of that jolt is transferred through the frame to disperse it safely away from you as much as possible. Depending on how the accident happened, that force may be moving in different directions, resulting in different types of damage to your frame.
1. Twisted frames
Imagine that you are driving through an intersection, and another car runs the red light and hits your front fender from the side. The front half of your car will likely lift suddenly sideways and up, resulting in a frame that is twisted. The front of your vehicle might lean to one side while the back remains normal.
2. Sway damage
If your car is hit on a corner, it could jam your frame out of alignment and cause sway damage. You might notice sway damage immediately if you cannot seem to get your car to drive straight. Even this type of harm can be fixed with the right machinery.
3. Crumpled or mashed frames
In straight-on collisions (either from the front or the back), your frame might crumple in on itself like a compressed spring. This will make the frame shorter than it is supposed to be, which means you may need to add a section to the frame in order to repair the damage.
Symptoms of a Bent Car Frame
Not all types of frame damage are noticeable when driving, which is why you should still have your car checked out by a professional after an accident. However, if you notice odd sounds that weren’t there before, or if you cannot get the car to drive straight consistently, you might have frame damage.
Similarly, you may notice that certain wheels wear down faster than others, or the doors no longer close as flush and evenly as they once did. All of these symptoms indicate that your car is not properly aligned due to a twisted or bent frame.
Fixing a Bent Car Frame
Fixing a car frame that has been bent is a job for the pros. They have specialized equipment that can provide the force needed to move this sturdy metal back into place. A reputable shop will also have the technology to accurately measure the alignment of your frame using lasers so that you can rest assured that a restored frame has been returned to safe, factory-intended measurements.
One of the most common ways that a body shop will fix a car frame is to use a hydraulic machine. This type of equipment can exert immense pressure-more than a human could to forcefully push the sturdy material back into alignment.
Depending on the condition of your car and the type of damage, the shop may also use a variety of pulleys and anchors to exert pressure on the frame. This might include pulling posts, frame straighteners and floor anchors. Some types of equipment are best suited for twisted frame damage, while others work better for crumple damage. That’s why trusting your damaged car to a shop that often works with bent frames is useful; they are much more likely to have the exact tools required to fix your vehicle.
Do not try to fix a bent car frame on your own. You may do more damage, and driving a car with an improperly tuned frame means that the next time a collision happens, your vehicle isn’t ready to distribute the force properly. This could result in injuries for you and more severe damage to your car.
Trust the Experts to Keep Your Car Safe to Drive After a Bent Frame
If you suspect that you might have a bent car frame, talk to the experts at soon as possible. The pros at Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to help you understand the condition of your car and get it ready to get back on the road. Reach out to schedule an appointment to get started.