Can You Drive With Frame Damage? Here is What You Need to Know

repair man working on car frame straightening

Realizing your car has frame damage may feel like a devastating blow. The thought of taking your vehicle to the shop for car frame straightening, waiting for the repair to be finished, and dealing with the potential cost can be overwhelming. Can’t you just keep driving the car normally?

Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no. Let’s take a closer look at the details before you start driving with a damaged frame.

How to Identify Frame Damage

The frame of a car is the skeleton that holds all its components together, providing structural strength and stability. Any damage to this structure can weaken the overall integrity of the car and compromise its safety. Some signs of frame damage include:

  • Visible bends or dents in the frame
  • Misaligned doors, hood, or trunk
  • Uneven gaps between panels
  • Difficulty opening or closing doors, hood, or trunk
  • Unusual noises while driving, such as rattling or creaking
  • Handling issues such as pulling to one side or uneven tire wear

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to have a professional inspect your car and determine if you need car frame straightening. Not all frame damage is immediately visible—it may require specialized equipment to detect.

The Biggest Risks of Driving With Frame Damage

A damaged frame means the car’s structure is not as strong or stable as it should be and may not provide proper protection in case of a collision or other accidents. Here’s a peek at the biggest risks:

Short-Term Risks

  • Reduced handling and control
  • Potential for increased damage in case of an accident
  • Compromised safety in case of a collision

Long-Term Risks

  • Decreased fuel efficiency due to added weight or drag caused by the damaged frame
  • Uneven wear and tear on other car components, which can lead to costly repairs in the future

Can You Drive Your Damaged Car or Not?

While it may be tempting to continue driving with a damaged frame, you should prioritize your safety. Seek a professional assessment as soon as possible to determine the exact extent of the damage and schedule car frame straightening. In the meantime, use these tips to determine whether it’s safe to drive your car:

Visible Damage: Do Not Drive

If the damage to your car’s frame is visible, such as a bent or dented structure, it’s best not to drive. Continued use can worsen the damage and put you at an increased risk of a potentially severe accident.

Handling and Control: Drive Short Distances

If your car is pulling to one side or is difficult to steer, have the car inspected immediately. Any issues with handling and control can significantly impact your ability to drive safely and increase the risk of an accident.

You should be able to drive your car to the shop for inspection, but avoid long distances or high speeds until the issue is resolved.

Unusual Noises: Drive Short Distances

Unusual noises such as rattling or creaking occur when components of the car’s structure rub against each other due to misalignment. Have the car inspected as soon as possible to make the necessary repairs. You can risk driving short distances, but the more you drive, the more damage you may cause.

Extensive Damage: Do Not Drive

If the frame damage is extensive, do not attempt to drive the vehicle. Extensive frame damage significantly undermines the car’s structural integrity. Driving the car will lead to further deterioration, increased repair costs, and a deadly high chance of an accident.

To avoid driving a vehicle with frame damage, have it towed to an auto repair shop for some car frame straightening.

Car Frame Repair Options

If your vehicle has frame damage, it will need repairs to be driven safely.

Repairing a damaged frame typically involves car frame straightening, which uses specialized equipment to restore the frame to its original shape. The cost of frame repairs varies by damage extent and vehicle type, and replacement parts may also be needed based on the damage.

Ensure your car is repaired by a professional collision repair shop experienced with damaged frames. They will ensure all necessary repairs are done correctly and safely.

Get Driving Quickly With Car Frame Straightening From Valley Collision

At Valley Collision, our experienced team uses industry-leading equipment and techniques to repair damaged frames quickly and efficiently. We understand the importance of safety on the road and take pride in providing top-notch frame straightening to get you back on the road safely. Skip the hassle by scheduling a repair appointment with us today.

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