The complex world of frame damage and repairs on modern cars requires you understand signs and symptoms to ensure you and your family stay safe. Our auto body shop expert team will teach you and serve you in St. Louis with unrivaled expertise so you confidently know what steps to take. So, step in to our virtual collision repair center and lets talk about the essential aspects of identifying a damaged car and if it can be fixed. Securing your driving future without a tow truck in sight!

Types of Automobile Frames and Why It Matters

Two prominent designs dictate how a car or truck is built: the unibody frame and the body-on-frame. Here’s a breakdown, comparing them during collisions and subsequent repairs.

A unibody frame is one unit, making the vehicle lighter with better handling. These tend to crumple more during a collision, absorbing the impact forces, potentially offering protection for occupants. However, repair processes might be more complicated and costly, as damage is more widespread involving critical parts of the frame and core support such as strut towers.

Body-on-frame vehicles, commonly in trucks and SUVs, have separate bodies and frames. This is more rugged and can withstand severe impacts without extensive damage to the  body. During collision, the force might not be absorbed as effectively, passing more shock to occupants. Repairing might be easier, as sections of the frame can be replaced independently.

Recognizing Signs of Car Frame Damage

Would you let your child ride their bike with structural problems like a wobbly wheel? Driving with frame damage puts you at risk as it affects vehicle control and compromises safety during accidents. Safety first!

Keeping your vehicle running smoothly starts with recognizing the signs of car frame damage early. Imagine your car as a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes pieces might not fit perfectly, indicating something isn’t right. Let’s spot these signs in your car early on:

  • Tire Wear: Picture shoes. If one shoe wears out quicker, it means you’re not balanced properly. Similarly, if one tire wears out, there is a problem with the car body or frame. Sometimes you find this sign on a spare tire due to a bent car frame.
  • Misaligned Panels: Imagine a drawer that won’t close. If doors, bumpers, or the gas cap on your car or truck doesn’t align, check for frame damages to see why the metal sheet or carbon fiber panels aren’t fitting right.
  • Drifting: Picture sailing a boat drifting sideways without you steering it that way. If your car or truck moves slightly to the side when driving straight, inspect your frame shape after that car drive.

uneven tire wear from car or truck frame damage

Helping Us To Help You

Knowing the kinds of car frame damage our clients have identified in their passenger cars helps us to fix them better. Think of this as a doctor knowing what medicine to give once they know what sickness you have. Here are the types of car frame damage and what they mean:

1. Sway: When the car frame is pushed to one side, making the damaged car look like a parallelogram instead of a rectangle.
2. Diamond: Makes the car difficult to drive in a straight line, like a cart with wobbly wheels.
3. Twist: Imagine if your car was a towel, and someone twisted it from the top and the bottom. That’s twist damage and these cars require frame straighteners to fix the frame damage.
4. Sagging: When the middle of the car frame dips down, like a hammock hanging between trees.

Fixing a bent car frame often requires special tools such as frame straighteners or a strut tower and replacement parts or a rocker panel to protect you during a collision to make it as good as new.

Does Insurance Cover Frame Repair?

Insurance policies differ greatly depending on multiple factors – location being one of them (those good old Missouri laws!). Typically though, if you have comprehensive or collision coverage, they should cover repairs after an accident.

car with frame damage

Here are the steps we take at our auto shop to fix the structural integrity of car frames:

Step 1. Checking and Understanding Frame Damage

Just like a detective, auto body shops first look for clues like it’s integrity and damage to crumple zones. We check for pulling or sway to understand what the problem is and even use special tools to find out what kind of frame damage has happened.

Step 2. Using Modern Ways to Fix Frame Damage

Next, we use really cool tools and techniques, like using a computer to make sure everything lines up perfectly, to fix the car just right.

Step 3. Making Sure Everything is Perfect

After Frame Damage Is Repaired

After we fix the car at our body shop, we check it from the front to the rear quarter panel and t the electric wiring to make sure everything is just perfect, and your car is happy and healthy again.

You know how your garden tomatoes can’t be rushed, and only taste the best when given time to grow? The same goes for frame repair. It’s not an overnight job and could take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the severity of the structural damage.

Once your car or truck is fixed … keep it safe! Here are some tips:

Regular Checks: We go to the doctor for check-ups. Cars and trucks need regular check-ups too to catch small problems before they become severe damage.
Getting Expert: Unsure about something? Always ask an expert (like us!) for support.
Quality Parts: Always choose good quality replacement parts. Fixing things with the right pieces makes them lasts longer.

man checking car for quality control after auto body frame repair

Taking care of your car or truck let’s it take care of you. We’ll help you repair car frame damage if needed. We can even make dealing with your insurance company a walk in the park!


Ask for 10% Off When You Schedule a Free Estimate!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Customer Reviews

Central Auto Body Rebuilders

Customer Reviews

Adrian Pelka 4/23/2019

Top notch work. Only guys I trust with any of my cars.

Leslie Murray 6/11/2019

Highly professional - excellent top quality work- fast and friendly service - very knowledgeable about all aspects of claims- auto body repair options-best in the business !!!

Rick McCleary 10/26/2019

These guys at Central are fantastic. Their goal is to do it RIGHT. They are easy to work with and super quick. Exceeds expectations. I’ve had paint less dent removal, a detail, and some front end damage. Outstanding for sure. If you see that red BMW coupe, that’s the one they keep looking great.

Marty Tribandis A0utg1gousst 2, te202ig1

excellent autobody repair & service, The women in the front office was very friendly!

Jennifer G. 10/11/2018

This is, by far, my favorite auto repair and body shop!!! Everyone is very nice and helpful to each need I've ever had, whether it be in auto repair or body work done. They have always gone above and beyond proving they are the place to go. This past week i was in an accident and i thought there was no hope for my car and when i got it back days later she looked better than when i had bought her 10 years ago! They all are truely gifted people and i'm grateful to be so lucky to have my cars fixed here. Everyone here always makes you feel welcomed and included in the process. I will continue to bring all my car's here while recommending Central to whom ever needs auto repairing.

Lauren L. 12/16/2019

Sam and his team are the BEST!!!! I have been bringing my car into his shop for the last couple years and he has always gone above and beyond for me. He is fair, honest and friendly. His work is top notch. Bring your car to this shop; you wont be disappointed!!

Marcia C. 11/19/2019

Did an amazing job on my aunt's car. So thankful she got it done here instead of the local alternative for almost twice as much money. Her car was done in under a week vs 18 days as estimated by the other guys. Thanks so much for getting back on the road so quickly. And making the car look brand new!!

Allen R. 4/11/2019

I have been coming here for years .
I had a Chevrolet Avalanche I took it to another shop for some body work , they quoted $ 3500 I bring the car to this place ,they fix it all the body work for half a price . My car looked like brand new . Excellent boy work and paint. And they are honest and friendly.

Henrique C. 3/24/2020

This place is nice They have a fair price And really good service I definitely recommend

Keith J. 9/26/2020

Sam knows I trust him as a very honest mechanic who does excellent work. If you looking for someone you can trust, this is the place. They will be a place you will take your car to time and time again, great people and great honest service.