Facts on Car Frame Damage

June 23, 2021
Car Frame

If you have been in a collision and your car frame was damaged, you may have various questions about your car and the damage it has experienced. At Freedom Collision, we’ve put together some facts about car frame damage to help you gain a better understanding of your situation.

What is a Car Frame?

The frame of your vehicle is the car’s structural support system that serves as the foundation of the vehicle. Car frames are commonly made from sturdy, flexible metal like steel.

There are two types of car frames. The most common being the unibody, which features multiple crumple zones, and the other being the ladder frames.

How do Crumple Zones Work?

Most unibody vehicles feature multiple crumple zones, which are indented parts of the frame that create a slightly wavy shape. These are designed to fold in a crash to help absorb the impact. You will most commonly see the folding occur at the back bumper, quarter panel, and the front end of the vehicle. The crumple zones are designed to reduce the impact force generated from a collision reducing injury to passengers.

What is Frame Damage?

When your car’s structural integrity has been compromised due to an outside force like a collision, your car has experienced frame damage. When the main areas of the vehicle that provide the vehicle’s structural support have been damaged, it can cause the vehicle to become unsafe to operate.

Can I Drive My Damaged Car?

Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question. Typically, if your vehicle can maintain a straight line and all of your wheels are in alignment, your vehicle should function sufficiently for normal driving. However, the best rule of thumb is if the vehicle feels unsafe, then don’t drive it. Have it towed to the repair shop and get the damages corrected.

The issues occur if you were to get into a collision with existing frame damage. Depending on the extent of your frame damage, your vehicle may not be able to protect you from the impact. Crumple zones and impact bars are one-time use. Once they’ve been compromised they have to be replaced or repaired to factory specification.

Signs to Look for When Checking for Frame Damage

While you can examine the car yourself, it is recommended that you have an experienced technician at Freedom Collision Center evaluate the damage to your vehicle so we can make the necessary repairs. With our laser frame measuring systems and racks we have all the necessary equipment to ensure your car is at its factory specifications.

We will be looking for signs of damage such as:

Sway damage

If you experience a corner hit, it can cause sway damage which causes your car to be misaligned toward one side.

Buckled frames

Buckled frames are common damage that occurs during head-on or rear-end collisions. This presents obvious bends where the metal has folded on itself.

In Need of Collision Repair? We Can Help!

At Freedom Collision Center, our highly trained technicians can measure your car for frame damage and make all repairs needed to get you back out on the road! We are your one-stop-shop for all your collision repair needs. Contact us today to learn more!



Morgantown Center

696 Fairmont Rd.
Morgantown, WV 26501

(304) -241-1325

Freedom Auto Group's Morgantown Center