What Is Frame Damage On A Car? Car Frame Damage Explained

If you come out without any injury after a car collision, it is safe to say you must have been lucky. But not for your car. Whether it collided with objects like barriers, trees, or another vehicle, there is a higher chance that the frame has bent or misaligned.

The car frame supports your car’s integrity. And when it’s compromised, it would be unsafe to ride on it again. So the best thing you can do is to check on the possible damages: the fenders, the beams, the radiator support, and other components.

If you’re wondering if you need to tow or drive the car, you need to know the extent of the frame damage.

What Is Frame Damage?

Frame Damage is any physical harm to a car frame component, usually from a collision or accident, that has compromised its function. It can be bent beams, crumpled or dented panels, or a misaligned frame.

While the damage can be minimal, you should know its extent before driving on it again. For some states, driving a car with a damaged frame is illegal.

Most cars today have unibody frames, wherein the car’s body and frame are one-piece structures. If your vehicle has a unibody frame, check the crumple zones.

Car accident detail.

The crumple zones are indented components of the frame, found in the front and rear parts that fold like an accordion when it collides. This design absorbs the energy and takes the impact. When the crumple zones have serious irreparable damages, fixing them may cost more than the actual worth of your car. And it is so risky to drive with a damaged frame.

To make an initial assessment, you should have ready car jack stands and jack to go under your car.

How To Tell If Your Car Has Frame Damage?

If you think the damage is minor, you can probably check the damage before driving. But your best action is to have a professional check the damage.

First, look at the body of your car. Check for dents, scratches, or creases. You can probably drive the car if it only has minimal folds. If the door doesn’t shut properly, your frame must have severe damage. So try opening and closing the door.

Look under your car. Are the frames bent? This damage rings an alarm.

Auto mechanic inspects car suspension.

Is your tire worn out? You should check your suspension systems too. Check for suspension wear or uneven shock absorption.

Did you try to drive your car? Although this is not advisable for huge impacts, squeaking, creaking, or rubbing sounds are red flags. Stop your vehicle as driving it with damaged frames is unsafe.

Here’s a list of serious frame damage:

Car Frame Damage Repair Costs

The cost of frame damage depends on the extent of the damage. For minor damage repairs, like ball-sized dents, it may cost you several hundred dollars up to a thousand.

But for bent frames where the entire structure needs replacement, it would cost up to $10,000. At this point, fixing it may not be worth it, and selling it is more advisable.


If you find that you can still drive with suspected frame damage, it is still not advisable. Your safety is your top priority, and risking it is not an option.

For any clarifications, kindly leave a comment below.

If your car has gone through any frame damage, it is best to seek professional assistance than making any conclusion. And if you think fixing your car frame is more costly than its current value, maybe it’s best to put it on sale.

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About Brock Rangel

Hi, I am Brock, and I am the lead editor/photographer for TheCarColony. I have been a mechanic for over 14 years now, and I am here to spread my car knowledge across the web!

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