When most people imagine damage to their car or truck, they tend to think of cracked windshields, dents and scratches in the paint. However, the same incidents that cause these dings on a truck can also result in severe (and often hidden) damage in the form of truck frame changes. The frame of a truck is like its skeleton, supporting the rest of its body; when the frame is damaged and needs a truck frame repair, the rest of the vehicle can no longer operate as intended, and continuing to drive it may even be very unsafe—even if you do not notice any signs that anything is wrong.
How Trucks Most Often Get Frame Damage
Frame damage most often arises as the result of a collision or accident, either with another vehicle or with an object like a tree or electrical pole.
While it is true that rust can become severe enough to compromise a truck’s frame, accidents that distribute shock and force through the body of the car are most likely to result in an altered frame. Even if the vehicle only seemed to bump into an object or ran through “just one pothole,” the frame could still experience torsion or warping.
What Frame Damage Does (and Doesn’t) Look Like
In any vehicle, including trucks, frame damage can take a number of forms. Many individuals assume that their car or truck is fine if they can drive it after an accident and it is not presenting with any obvious signs of damage.
However, it is important to know that a compromised frame does not always present with symptoms; this is why it is important to have your truck examined carefully after a collision or accident. If the frame of your truck is damaged, even if you do not notice any difference, its structural integrity could be compromised.
This means that the frame is weak and prone to further unexpected damage that could occur while you are driving, and it can put you in an unsafe situation.
It also means that, should you get into another accident, the shock from the force of the collision will no longer distribute as intended throughout the vehicle, which could result in severe injuries for you.
Despite the fact that many instances of frame damage present with no symptoms, there are still things that you can look out for that indicate the frame damage has occurred.
If you hear noises coming from your vehicle that you did not hear before, such as grinding, clunking or screeching, this could indicate that a bent frame has pushed pieces of the truck into contact with each other.
Similarly, if you just cannot seem to get your wheel alignment right, or if your vehicle occasionally lurches to one side, your frame may be bent or warped. You may also notice that you cannot achieve a clean seal when you close a door or hood because the shape of the vehicle is distorted slightly.
Can You Do A Truck Frame Repair Yourself?
Unfortunately, most frame damage is not something that a general member of the public can repair on their own because it requires specialized tools.
Some frame damage, like the beginnings of rust, can be handled at home with some knowledge and elbow grease. However, bent or crumpled frames require large and often expensive specialized tools that are typically only owned by auto body shops that focus on frame repair.
The tools for the job include chains, lifts and hydraulic machinery that can push and pull the frame back into its factory shape.
In addition, many skilled frame repair shops will make use of laser tools for measurement so that they can ensure the highest accuracy possible when restoring the frame.
These lasers measure the current angles and arrangement of the frame to assist the hydraulic machine in bending the frame to exactly the right specifications.
Without use of these tools, the frame will remain slightly bent or warped after repair—it will simply be bent or warped in a different way than it was previously.
Work with the Auto Body and Truck Frame Repair Experts
If you suspect that your vehicle has experienced frame damage, or if you would like assistance with repairing frame damage that you are already aware of, be sure to trust an auto body shop that has the tools and knowledge required to make a long-lasting repair for your truck frame.
Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to evaluate the condition of your vehicle and explain the extent of any frame damage to you, as well as your options for repair or replacement. Reach out to schedule an appointment with an expert.