How to tell if frame is bent in an accident?

The frame is bent in an accident, also historically known as its chassis, is the main supporting structure of a motor vehicle to which all other components are attached, comparable to the skeleton of an organism.

After your car was hit by another vehicle bent in an accident, you may have noticed some dents on the side, but feel that the damage was not significant. However, the frame itself may have been damaged, even if you can’t see it.

tell if frame is bent in an accident

How to check the frame for damage?

If you’ve just been in a collision, it’s important to take care of yourself first, and then worry about the condition of the car. The best way to check if a car’s frame is bent is to have it checked by a professional frame straightener at your local auto body repair shop.

To check the damage yourself, you need to visually inspect the vehicle both outside and under the car. Pay attention to unusual sounds, misalignment, uneven tire wear, suspension, and shocks. Read more about the symptoms of bent car chassis below.

List of the symptoms of bent car chassis below

Read more about the symptoms of bent car chassis below.

  • Symptoms of the bent car frame
  • The frame is visible bent in accident damaged
  • Car alignment is disabled
  • Unusual car noises
  • Uneven suspension and shock wear
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Parts do not fit together properly
  • The wheels are still bad

So let’s more about it in detail…

Symptoms of the bent car frame

Symptoms of bent in an accident

If the collision bent the frame of your car, pay attention to the following symptoms

The frame is visible bent in accident damaged

The frame is visibly bent in an accidentThe easiest thing to check is also a sign of the worst damage to your frame. Take a walk around your car and watch for signs of rust, cracks, or creases on the frame or exterior. Then safely get under your vehicle and look for signs of damage on the underside of the frame.

Car alignment is disabled

Car alignment is disabled bent in an accident

If your car is moving in one direction after the collision, it is a sign that your chassis is likely bent. If you’ve done an alignment and it’s still not running straight, check your frame.

Unusual car noises

Unusual car noises bent in an accident

When car frames are bent in an accident, they can cause creaking, squeaking, or other unusual noises. Sounds can come from sides, front and rear. If you’ve heard any of these unusual noises, you should have your frame checked by a body shop.

Uneven suspension and shock wear

Uneven suspension bent in an accident

If the frame is bent in an accident, the shocks and suspension will wear unevenly. The sides where the bent frame distributes the extra weight will wear out more quickly. You can check the shock absorbers and suspension components for uneven wear. If you see signs of this, check your frame.

Uneven tire wear

suspension and alignment bent in an accident

If your frame is bent, it can affect car suspension and alignment, leading to uneven tire wears. If you keep up with the tire rotations and are still experiencing uneven tire wear, it could be a sign that the frame is bent in an accident.

Parts do not fit together properly

Parts do not fit together properly bent in an accident

Doors, windows, bolts, and brackets are places to check for a bent frame. The frame is the foundation of everything in the vehicle. If bent, these other parts, and components will have too little or too much space and will show signs of stress or damage. (shopping for imported items)

The wheels are still bad

The wheels are still bad bent in an accident

If you are driving straight but your car is on the diagonal, it has a bent frame. Some call it crabbing or dog walking when the vehicle does this. Vehicles should always be straight when driving straight ahead, not leaning to either side and still moving forward.


no longer driven straight bent in an accident

One sign to look for to determine if your car’s frame is bent is the inability to drive in a straight line. If the damage suffered is on the side of your car, you may notice some difficulty driving. The frame typically keeps the front and rear of your car in a straight line, which helps keep the steering base even.

However, when the frame is folded, the back and front are no longer aligned. As you drive down the road and look in the rearview mirror, you may notice that the rear of the car appears crooked. When trying to drive the car, you may need to pull hard on the steering wheel every time you turn it to one side or the other.

So you may have to hold the steering wheel tightly to keep it in the direction you want.

This steering difficulty is due to misalignment of the steering base. If the frame is slightly bent, you may only notice a few difficulties. However, if the curve is steep enough, you may have to constantly struggle to keep the steering wheel in position. If the damage is that severe, your vehicle is not safe to drive and should be inspected as soon as possible.


do not close properly bent in an accident

Even if you don’t experience any difficulties while driving your car, the curve in the frame could affect your ability to open and close the trunk, hood, or doors. Since the frame creates the outline of the base of your car, any damage done to the base can affect the hinges and locks.

After your accident, you may find that you have to slam the trunk or hood. Then even after hearing the latch, you might notice a gap or two between the car body and the sides of the trunk or hood. These gaps are the result of a bent or crooked frame near the rear or front of the vehicle.

Also, one or more of your doors may no longer close 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.

Can you drive a car with a bent frame?

You can drive a vehicle with a bent frame if the vehicle is still properly aligned and you will drive in a straight line but at your own risk. If you are in another collision with a bent chassis, much of the vehicle’s strength could be compromised. This could lead to much more serious damage and possible injury to the occupants.

Can a bent car frame be fixed?

Yes, bent car frames can be repaired. They are repaired by trained auto body repair technicians with high-precision hydraulic machines and tools. These machines use immense force to make your frame real again and as designed by your car manufacturer.

There are situations where the damage is so severe that the cost of repair forces your insurance company to total the vehicle. This is especially true if after repairs the safety of the vehicle is compromised.

Conclusion bent in an accident

In conclusion, I would like to say that after reading all the above signs and history, you will be able to recognize whether your car’s frame is bent or not. If your car’s frame is bent, the damage doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t drive the car anymore. But you must take your car to any auto body shop.

Mathew Log

Expert for JautobodyShop (5 years+ Experience).
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