If you have been in a car accident, either with another vehicle or as part of a collision with an object such as a post or curb, you may feel as though your vehicle drives well enough afterward.
However, even cars that seem to continue to operate as normal could be hiding severe frame damage that not only compromises the longevity of the vehicle, but also puts you in greater danger of another accident and more serious injuries as a result. It is important to repair auto frame damage as soon as possible.
What a Vehicle Frame Is and How It Functions
A vehicle’s frame is much like a human body’s skeleton; it provides structural support on which the rest of the car sits. In general, cars can come in two different varieties when it comes to frames: unibody and body-on-frame.
Body-on-frame used to be the most common type, where the vehicle’s chassis and body were two separate entities. This resulted in generally weaker cars in terms of structural integrity, which is why manufacturers phased out this type of frame after approximately the 1930s.
Nowadays, vehicles are made using a unibody frame. This significantly stronger structure incorporates the cabin directly into the frame so that the vehicle is more sound in the event of a collision.
However, keep in mind that if you have a particularly old vehicle or are an old vehicle hobbyist, you could still be dealing with a body-on-frame setup; not all manufacturers ended this type of construction promptly in the ‘30s.
What Does Auto Frame Damage Look Like?
Auto frame damage is most commonly sustained during an auto accident or collision. This need not be with another vehicle; running your car into an obstacle or even driving into a very deep pothole can have lasting effects on the car’s frame.
Like a broken bone in the human body, auto frame damage may not always be immediately visible to the eye, but it can show symptoms. Your vehicle may be squeaky, or you may hear grinding or clunking. One of the most telltale indicators of severe frame damage is the inability for your car to drive in a smooth, straight line.
When a vehicle collides with an object or another car, the force of the collision is distributed throughout your car’s many crumple zones and the structure of the frame. This can cause breaks or bends in the frame that compromise how the vehicle operates going forward. However, not all frame damage comes with symptoms, which is why having your vehicle examined by an auto body expert after an accident is critical.
If you fail to repair frame damage, you are leaving yourself exposed to a greater likelihood of another accident in the future should your car suddenly begin showing symptoms of frame damage, or if it pulls to the side as a result of a frame bend that impacts your wheel alignment.
Additionally, now that your car’s frame has already handled the brunt of one accident, it may not disperse the force of the next as well, leading to a greater risk of injury.
How to Repair Auto Frame Damage
Auto frame damage can be simple or challenging to repair depending on its extent. The most comprehensive auto frame repair tends to be done with powerful hydraulic machines that exert immense pressure and torque to straighten the frame to its original shape.
Laser diagnostics can assist in ensuring that the frame returns to its intended shape with a high level of accuracy. All of the clamps, chains, hooks and secured posts required to untwist and unbend a car’s frame can be found at body shops that specialize in frame damage.
While it is possible to purchase these items for yourself in an attempt to straighten the frame damage on your car on your own, ensuring that the chains are properly anchored and that the correct pressure and torque are being applied is critical, or else the frame could just end up staying the same at best and sustaining more damage or even injuring you at worst.
Work with the Auto Body and Car Frame Repair Experts
Whether you have been in a collision with another vehicle or experienced an auto accident, it is important to have your car’s frame examined as soon as possible. Even if your vehicle seems fine, without issues such as drifting or uneven door closures, your car could still be suffering from dangerous frame damage.
The car frame repair experts at Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to examine your vehicle and keep you informed about the extent of the damage, as well as your options for fixing it. Reach out to schedule an appointment.