You get into a wreck, you inspect the damage, and you think there might be some damage to the frame.
It’s not a great situation, and it always comes up with the question of—is it salvageable, or is the car more appropriate for the scrap yard?
Some say that if your car frame gets damaged, it’s time just to let it go. But is it solid advice? Here’s how to know if car frame repair is worth it.
What Is a Car Frame?
The frame of a car is the main supporting structure of the vehicle itself. The main functions of the frame are to support the weight of the vehicle. It also provides a rigid structure to ensure the safety of the occupants in case of a sudden impact, and to ensure safe drivability on the road.
Is It Safe to Drive With Frame Damage?
The simple answer is, No.
If the car frame is damaged, this reduces optimal drivability, and it presents a risk to the driver and occupants on the road.
Along with these risks, frame damage can cause additional mechanical problems to your vehicle if not taken care of soon.
Types of Frame Damage
These are the different types of frame damage that can occur:
A twisted frame is hard to spot, but one way you tell is if there are gaps in the body. The car will tend to lean in a specific direction and will cause your coils and tires to wear at a faster rate. Other tell-tale signs are instability at higher speeds.
Mash damage occurs when the vehicle gets hit from the rear or a head-on collision. The frame accordions onto itself, and the frame ends being shorter than what it used to be.
The bad thing about mash damage is that it can occur even at low-speed collisions.
Sway damage happens when a car gets hit in the corner or t-boned. This causes the frame to bend to left or right. An easy way to tell if you have sway damage is your car will tend to favor drifting to the left or right—it will not drive in a straight line.
You will feel vibrations, and it can also cause driveshaft issues.
Is Car Frame Repair a Smart Choice?
Absolutely! Contrary to popular belief, frame damage can be repaired by an auto body shop with skilled technicians. Repair is done using specialized framing machines, which can return as close to factory specifications.
These machines use hydraulic pressure and torque to straighten bent parts of your frame. If the structure is deemed unrepairable utilizing this method, parts of the frame can be cut off and replaced with new metal pieces which are welded in place.
When Can Frame Damage not Be Repaired?
In most cases, frame damage is repairable, but the real question—is it worth it?
Most insurance companies will determine this with the repair-to-value ratio. If the Damage to repair car costs more than what the value of the vehicle is worth, it may be more cost-efficient to write the car off. If your car was severely damaged in an accident to the point where the frame is in several pieces, it might be advisable to let that car go to the scrap yard.
Know Your Options
If you are dealing with frame damage, don’t panic! There are many options that you can choose from to repair the problem. If you are in Limerick PA or any of the surrounding areas like Pottstown, Royersford, or Collegeville, contact us, and we can go through all the options and help you out with any questions you have about car frame repair.