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How Can You Tell Whether There’s Damage To Your Car’s Frame?

Whenever your car suffers damage to the frame, it makes the whole car dangerous to drive. Even minor damage to the car frame can cost you several hundred dollars to fix. Many times, frame damage happens because of a car accident, and you may not always see visible signs of damage. Even if it starts small, frame damage can quickly become more costly to fix later. Let’s take a look at the most common signs that the frame of your car may have damage.

Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear can make it difficult to keep a safe grip on the pavement in snowy and rainy weather conditions. Especially if you rotate the tires every 5,000 miles and still experience uneven tire wear, you can often pinpoint the issue as being a damaged frame. You can damage the frame as well from hitting a bump or a pothole in some rare cases.


Car Makes Strange Noises

Sometimes the car makes strange noises when the frame underneath was bent. The strange noises coming from the engine can make it hard to tell the exact issue. However, it means that the engine sits crooked in the frame. Listen for sounds of metal rubbing against metal or the sounds of squealing. Strange noises from the car may seem harmless, but you may want to have them checked to deal with the repair before it gets more costly. As a side note, bent frames are super bad for your car, and in some cases, it can lead to them totaling the car.


Car Parts Don’t Fit Right

When your car parts don’t fit right, it can indicate that they have either too much or too little room for movement. Some of the most common areas that won’t fit right due to frame damage include:

  • Doors
  • Mounts
  • Bolts
  • Windows

Car Parts Don't Fit Right

Especially if the frame was bent, these areas will feel out of place. You may feel like it takes extra force to close the car door. Now, you need to check because many aftermarket parts will have this problem, too, but if you had an accident recently or hit a pothole and this seems to be the case, you may want to have it looked at by a professional like Elmer’s Auto Body.


Poor Wheel Tracking

You can tell that your wheels track poorly when you try to drive straight but the car veers diagonally. Driving in a straight line poses no challenge for a car with a good frame. A bent frame, on the other hand, causes a condition that auto body mechanics refer to as “crab walking.” Poor wheel tracking often means that you have invisible damage that you can’t see. Take it to an autobody shop to have them take a deeper look at it.


Car Has Poor Alignment

You can tell that your car has poor alignment because it will pull in one direction when you drive it. A car with poor alignment doesn’t always indicate frame damage, but it can be one of the signs. Take your car in to have it re-aligned, and if it still seems like it won’t drive straight, you may want to have a technician look at it. When you drive with bad alignment, your wheels will wear out sooner, and you may struggle to control the car at its worst. Other common signs of poor alignment include:

  • Tires squealing
  • Noisy steering
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Pulling to the left or right

Car Has Poor Alignment

Look under The Car For Signs Of Damage

Doing this with a Ford F-150 or a Dodge RAM poses no challenge, but you may struggle to do it as easily with a compact car like a Kia. When you go to look under the frame, check to see if you can spot the frame as being bent. That would be one of the most obvious signs that you need to take it into an auto body shop. Just Google, “Auto body shop near me,” and you should see results come up like our shop.


Cracks, Rust, and Creases to the Exterior

One of the obvious signs of frame damage but worth pointing out to new car owners, cracks, rust or creases can indicate an issue with the frame especially if you have other signs present. Beware of rust because it can quickly spread. You want to repair this issue before it has the chance to accumulate and cause further issues.


How Much Does It Cost To Repair The Frame

Minor damage will cost you about $500 to fix, but the cost to fix a car frame after an accident usually ranges anywhere from $600 to $10,000. In some cases, it even climbs past $10,000. You even have cases where they will total the car because the frame damage is too severe and too costly to repair.



Let’s say that you believe that you have a damaged car frame. Take the car to us to learn if it has damage to it and how much it would cost to repair. At Elmer’s Auto Body, we would be more than willing to help you repair any damage to your car frame. Call us today at (856) 218-0202. We have served South Jersey for over 70 years.

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