How to Know if Your Car’s Frame Is Bent After an Accident
It’s a distressing experience to be involved in an accident, but it’s essential to know if your car can be safely driven afterwards. One crucial aspect when trying to move your vehicle post-accident is the integrity of your car’s frame.
Even one minor collision can potentially cause damage to the frame, which compromises the overall safety and performance of your vehicle. If you have never experienced damage to your car’s frame, you may not know what to look for. So we’ve gathered some ways to check for a bent car frame and the signs to pay attention to.
Complete a Visual Inspection
The first step to determining if you have a bent car frame, you should do a thorough visual inspection. While some signs of frame damage may be more obvious, some damage may be hidden and require a closer look.
Conduct this visual inspection in a well-lit area and use a flashlight to examine any hard-to-reach areas. Here are some key things to look out for.
Misaligned Body Panels
Take a step back from your vehicle and look for uneven gaps or misalignment between the body panels. If the doors, fenders, or trunk lid appear uneven or do not line up correctly, it may indicate that there has been some damage to the frame.
Uneven Tire Wear
Inspect all of your tires to see if there are signs of uneven wear. Looking closely at the tread pattern of each tire, note if you see that one side of the tire is wearing down faster than the other. This can suggest some frame misalignment and uneven tire wear can affect your vehicle’s handling and overall performance.
Park your car on a level surface and visually assess if it leans to one side more or seems to be sagging. In addition, you should be paying attention to the height of each corner of the vehicle. Uneven suspension height can be an indicator of frame damage.
Visible Damage or Distortion
Carefully look at your vehicle’s undercarriage to check for any visible signs of damage or distortion. Look for dents, creases, or bends in the frame structure. Some damage may be more evident than others, but examine the entire frame, including the front and rear sections, along with the side rails.
Driving Issues Caused by Frame Damage
Frame damage definitely can impact your car’s driveability. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following signs when driving your vehicle after an accident.
Frame damage can cause the wheels to be misaligned, resulting in steering issues. If your car pulls more to one side, even when the steering wheel is straight, it may indicate some frame misalignment. This may make it hard for you to maintain going straight and require constant correcting while driving.
Vibration or Shaking
Excessive vibrations or shaking while driving that can be felt through the steering wheel, floorboards, or seats can indicate frame damage. With a misaligned frame, your car’s weight is no longer distributed evenly, affecting the smoothness of driving.
A bent car frame can affect the car’s handling and stability. You may have difficulty maintaining control or feel looseness in the steering, especially when driving around corners or at higher speeds. This can impact the ability to control the vehicle effectively and might require more effort to maintain stability.
What to Listen For
Listening for any unusual sounds when driving can provide some valuable information if you suspect your car’s frame is misaligned or damaged.
- Creaking or groaning noises coming from the chassis or suspension
- Grinding or scraping when going over bumps or making turns
- Clunking or knocking sounds when driving over rough surfaces or during sudden changes in direction
- Rattling sounds coming from beneath the vehicle
- Abnormal tire noises like humming or whirring that persists even on smooth roads
Turn to Caversham Coachworks For a Professional Inspection
While visual and driving checks can give you some insight, having your vehicle inspected at a professional auto repair shop is recommended. An experienced auto repair technician has the expertise and specialised equipment to assess and repair frame damage appropriately.
At Caversham Coachworks, your vehicle is in good hands. We understand the importance of timely repairs, regardless of how small the damage may seem. By trusting our experienced team, we can help you prevent any further issues, ensure the safety of your vehicle, and maintain its value for years to come.
As the leading independent vehicle repair centre in Berkshire and Central Oxfordshire, we promise outstanding customer service to get you and your vehicle back on the road quickly and safely. Talk to one of our accident repair experts today or use our free and easy estimator tool.