How do I tell if a car has frame damage?

I’ve been driving an old, used car on my daily commute for the past few months. It’s working fine, but there’s a little draft coming from one of the doors, and I think it might be a bent frame. What are some good ways for me to tell if a car has frame damage?

Frame damage can be subtle, but it could mean your car’s safety features are compromised! Luckily, you can tell if your car has frame damage by keeping an eye out for these telltale signs:
  • Misalignment: If your frame is bent, your vehicle will pull to the left or right as you try to steer in a straight line. If you’ve had realignment service and the car still pulls, you may have frame damage.
  • Strange noises: Creaking, rattling, or squealing can all be signs of a bent frame. If you hear any of these coming from around your vehicle, have your frame checked.
  • Panel gaps and ill-fitting parts: Walk around your vehicle and examine the areas where panels meet. Look at the trunk and rear quarter panel or the gaps between the doors. If there is an unusual amount of open space, you may have frame damage.
If you suspect your vehicle frame is damaged, take it to an auto body shop for further examination and schedule repairs. While insurance policies don’t typically cover pre-existing conditions, there’s no harm in calling your provider to ask if they can help with repairs.
If you feel your provider isn’t as cooperative as they should be, explore your other options with Jerry. A licensed broker, the Jerry app can help you compare personalized quotes from over 50 top providers like Progressive and Nationwide for free. When you find a better plan, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even help cancel your old policy!
Matthew Macgugan
Answered on Nov 24, 2021

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