What is the subframe on a car?

I’m trying to understand what a subframe on a car is—I’m worried that mine may be damaged. Could you help?

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Answer provided by
Lindsey Hoover
Answered on Apr 15, 2022
The subframe on your car is a structural unit that essentially functions as a mounting point for critical assemblies in your vehicle, like its engine, suspension, and steering. Your subframe (also known as a mini frame) should last the lifespan of your vehicle.
Replacing the subframe on a car is expensive and labor-intensive. If you think there’s something wrong with your subframe, you should have a professional mechanic inspect and fix the issue.
Below are some common reasons why a subframe on a car may need replacing:
  • The subframe is rusted. This is a safety hazard and could cause you to fail a state car inspection.
  • The subframe has become bent or mangled. Collisions or impact can cause a subframe to bend out of proportion. This can result in everything from steering to motor issues.
  • The subframe bolts can back up over time. You should re-torque the bolts about every 45,000 miles.
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