Signs of a Bent Frame

When we think of a bent vehicle frame, we might assume that it will be easy to spot. Bent frames are often the result of an accident or a collision, in which the impact from the crash was significant enough to cause the frame of one or both vehicles to bend. Although in some cases, a bent frame is easily identifiable, oftentimes, a bent frame can go unnoticed and undiagnosed, only to cause problems for a driver later down the road. If you want to become an auto body repair technician, you can expect a lot of your time to be filled with repairing and replacing vehicle bodies and frames. Remembering these four signs will help you to efficiently identify and diagnose bent vehicle frames.

1. Check For Car Door Irregularities after Auto Body Technician Training

In more severe cases, a bent frame can be identified right away, especially if the car sits at an unusual angle or has been seriously dented in one of its sides. However, if these obvious signs aren’t there, an auto body repair technician can check whether a vehicle’s frame has been bent by opening and closing a vehicle’s doors. If the doors don’t open and close smoothly, are unable to close completely, or do not line up with the frame of the door when closed, these are telltale signs that a vehicle’s frame may be bent.

If a vehicle’s doors close or open abnormally, this could be a sign of a bent frame

2. Identify Strange Noises While Driving

Some of the most common symptoms of a slightly bent frame are (surprisingly) strange sounds coming from the engine while a vehicle is in motion. While a problem with the frame might not be noticeable, if a vehicle’s engine is squeaking, groaning, or creaking while driving, this may indicate that its frame is bent. If a car has been in an accident, take it for a test run to make sure that the engine sounds normal, as strange noises could point to a bigger issue.

3. Trouble with Wheel Alignment Can Lead to Bigger Problems

A bent frame can cause problems with a vehicle’s wheel alignment, and while it might not be visible at first, if left undiagnosed, the vehicle will develop a noticeable tendency to drift to one side while being driven. A slightly bent frame may manifest in a wheel alignment problem that can’t be fixed by an alignment adjustment or an abnormal tracking pattern. If a vehicle just won’t drive straight, professionals in auto body technician careers should be prepared to tackle a frame repair.

If a vehicle’s wheels aren’t properly aligned, this could indicate a bigger issue with a vehicle’s frame

4. A Bent Frame Can Cause Uneven Wear on Shocks and Suspension

A bent frame will cause uneven wear on a vehicle’s shocks and suspension system, as more pressure will fall to certain parts of the suspension. This excessive pressure will cause those parts to wear out faster than other parts of the suspension. If a vehicle’s suspension is malfunctioning or has strange signs of wear, it could be a sign that a vehicle’s frame is bent. 

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