Many types of vehicle damage are easy to identify, even if you do not have experience in the automotive industry. For example, any driver can observe the signs that a windshield needs replacement or a paint job requires a little TLC and restoration.
However, many of the most serious types of vehicle damage can appear completely invisible unless you know exactly what to look for. One of the most potentially dangerous and most difficult-to-detect issues that can develop after a collision is a bent frame. Frame straightening services can often correct this problem, but first you must identify the need for these repairs. This is another extremely valuable recommendation to only take your vehicle to a certified and highly experienced auto body repair facility.
1. Car No Longer Drives Straight
One sign you should look for to determine whether or not your car’s frame is bent is an inability to drive straight. If you are driving and notice that your car is pulling to one side, your alignment may be off. If you have the alignment fixed and it starts pulling again, a bent frame is likely to blame. Wheels frequently won’t track properly with a bent frame, either. The front wheels and rear wheels will not track the same way, which can make your car do a slight side-to-side movement while you’re driving.
2. Trunk and Doors Do Not Close Properly
Even if you do not experience any difficulty while driving your car, the bend in the frame could affect your ability to open and close your trunk, hood, or doors. Since the frame creates the base platform of your car, any damage done to the base can affect the hinges, locks, and overall alignment of body panels.
After your accident, you may notice that you have to slam your trunk or hood shut. Then, even after you hear the latch, you may notice one or two gaps between the body of the car and the sides of the trunk or hood. These gaps are the result of a twisted or bent frame near the back or front of the vehicle.
In addition, one or more of your doors may no longer latch easily. Or, even if they are closed as tightly as possible, the doors may have gaps around them. These gaps are indicative of frame damage in the center of your vehicle.
Even if you are able to fully latch your trunk, hood, or doors, the damage that creates a problem with closing them easily or creating gaps can be a serious safety issue. Just because you are able to close them now does not mean that they will stay latched in the future.
If you are driving down the road and the hood flies up, you could easily cause a serious accident. If the trunk opens, any contents inside could hit the drivers behind you. And, if your doors open while going down the road, you or one of your passengers run the risk of serious injury.
3. Wear on Shocks and Suspension
A bent frame will put more pressure on some parts of your suspension than others, which causes the shocks and suspension system to wear out unevenly. If you have a problem with your suspension that keeps reoccurring, you may have a bent frame that is causing the problem. After a collision, listen for metallic screeching or squeaking when you drive. In many cases, sounds caused by a bent frame will be confined to one side of the car or another.
The longer you drive with a bent frame, the more damage it can do to your car.
If your car’s frame is bent, the damage does not necessarily mean that you can no longer drive the car. If you have any questions, feel free to call VIVID Auto Body Shop (972)737-3288 so we can set an appoint for us to assess the extent of the damage and, if needed, use one of our frame machines to straighten the frame, perform a new wheel alignment, print out and provide the final measurement results.