Following a car accident, it’s possible that your vehicle’s frame has been damaged even if your car appears to be in good shape. Your frame helps to keep all of the passengers in your car safe after a collision. Because of this, if you see signs of damage, you’ll want to have repairs done sooner rather than later. These are a few warning signs that your car may be in need of frame repairs.
1. Damage Can Be Seen Beneath The Vehicle
If you want to get a clear look at your vehicle’s frame, the simplest thing to do is to climb under your car. You can see parts of the frame from below the chassis. Use a flashlight so that you can check to see if the frame has any cracks or bends. If the damage is severe, it’s possible that new material will need to be welded onto your vehicle’s frame.
If you’re purchasing a vehicle that is used, there are other warning signs you should watch out for as well. For example, you should check to see if the frame is scratched or discolored. These can be signs that frame repair attempts have been made. A car frame can be bent into the proper shape, but that won’t necessarily fix the problem. The frame may still collapse on impact, which means passengers won’t receive the protection that they need.
2. Components That Don’t Fit
If a frame is warmed, it may no longer fit your vehicle. It’s easy to spot this when you look at your car’s doors. If the doors won’t properly close, and you don’t see any visible issues with the latches, the frame needs to be inspected. It’s also possible that you’ll glimpse gaps between your car’s frame and its doors when you close them.
A bent frame could also cause gaps between a vehicle’s body panels. It’s possible that, which pressure is placed on the panels, they may dent or shift. Another warning sign is when your bumpers are crooked.
3. Damage to Shock and Suspension
If your car’s frame is in good working order, the vehicle’s weight will be evenly distributed throughout the suspension system. If a frame is bent, it can create balance issues. This means that more weight might be placed on one side than the other. If you start to notice vibrations on one side of your vehicle, or if you notice that the shocks need to be worn down on a certain side of your car, it’s possible that a bent frame is the root of the problem.
4. Your Vehicle Can’t Be Realigned
If the frame of a vehicle is bent, that vehicle won’t be able to stay aligned. Have you noticed that your vehicle seems to pull to the side, even when the wheel isn’t being moved? If so, you should schedule an appointment at an auto shop so that you can have a realignment done. If your wheels can’t be properly aligned, or if your vehicle seems to be pulling when you drive out of the auto shop, your next step should be to have someone look at the frame.
When a bent frame causes a vehicle to be misaligned, it can cause something that is often described as “crab walking.” When you try to drive down a straight road, you may notice that your vehicle is pointed slightly towards the left or right side. It isn’t always easy to detect this, but you can test whether or not you have this issue if you drive across a road that is wet. If you see diagonal tracks instead of straight ones, you’ll know that your frame is in need of an inspection.
If you’re familiar with the warning signs of a bent frame, you’ll be able to address the issue before it causes problems for you. If you’ve been in a car accident, or if you own a vehicle that is used, bring your car into Bills Auto Body as soon as possible. That way, one of our technicians can look at your frame and address any safety concerns.