Can Hitting a Curb Cause Frame Damage? Yes. Here’s How to Fix It

can hitting a curb cause frame damage

The car’s frame, or chassis, is like its skeleton, giving it structure and strength. It’s designed to support the vehicle’s weight, improve safety, and handle stress, especially during a crash.

There are moments when a driver is hit unexpectedly by many things, like a curb, which may cause the car’s frame to get damaged.

But is the impact enough? Well, that’s what we’re about to find out in this article.

Does Hitting a Curb Cause Your Car’s Frame to Get Damaged?

A car owner who looks worried

Yes, accidentally hitting a curb can cause frame damage, especially if the impact is significant. Even though modern vehicles are designed with unibody structures, they can still sustain damage to their frame`work upon a strong collision with a curb.

This can lead to alignment issues or damage to suspension components, affecting the vehicle’s structural integrity and safety.

ALSO CHECK: My Car’s Shaking After Hitting a Curb. What Happened

What are the Signs That You’ve Damaged Your Frame From Hitting a Curb

Most of the signs can lead to your car’s body panels being misaligned, your tires wearing out, difficulty in steering, and even suspension issues. For further explanation, read each description below:

Misaligned Body Panels

If the body panels of your car no longer align correctly, this can indicate that the frame has been warped or bent. Look for uneven gaps or panels that don’t seem to fit as they should.

Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven or accelerated tire wear is a sign that the car’s alignment is off, which could be due to frame damage. This often results from the wheels not being positioned correctly relative to each other or the road.

CONTINUE: Tire Damage from Hitting a Curb? Can You Get a Flat or Bubble Tire Because of It?

Difficulty in Steering or Abnormal Handling

If you notice that steering your car has become more difficult, or if the vehicle handles oddly during driving, it could be due to frame damage affecting the alignment and overall balance.

ALSO READ: My Steering Wheel is Off Center After Hitting Curb

Suspension Issues

Suspension problems, such as excessive bouncing, unusual noises, or vibrations that weren’t present before, can indicate that the impact has affected the suspension components or the frame’s integrity.

ALSO CHECK: Hit Curb Wheel Bent Inward. What to Do?

Unequal Gaps Between Body Parts

After a curb hit, you might notice that the gaps between certain body parts, like the doors, hood, and fenders, are uneven. This could be a sign that the frame’s structure has been compromised.

How to Check Your Car for Frame Damage After Hitting a Curb

a person that's inspecting the hood of their car

If you’ve noticed that you’re experiencing the signs we’ve mentioned above, then it might be time to check your car yourself for frame damage. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Visual Inspection

Start by visually inspecting your vehicle for any obvious signs of damage. Look for misaligned body panels, unequal gaps between body parts, and any deformities on the vehicle’s undercarriage. These visual cues can indicate frame damage.

Check for Uneven Tire Wear

Examine the tires for uneven wear patterns. Uneven tire wear is a sign of misalignment, which can result from frame damage affecting the vehicle’s geometry.

RECOMMENDED: Is It Bad to Park with Tire Against a Curb?

Assess Vehicle Alignment

Notice if your vehicle pulls to one side while driving on a straight, flat road or if the steering wheel is off-center when driving straight. These are indicators of alignment issues that can stem from frame damage.

Listen for Unusual Noises

Pay attention to any new or unusual noises while driving, such as creaking, groaning, or clunking sounds, especially when turning or driving over bumps. These sounds can indicate that the frame damage is affecting the vehicle’s structural integrity.

ALSO READ: I’ve Scraped the Bottom of My Car and Now It’s Making Noise. What’s the Problem?

Feel for Changes in Handling

Be alert to any changes in your vehicle’s handling, including difficulty steering, abnormal handling, or increased vibration. These changes could suggest that the frame’s alignment has been compromised.

Inspect Suspension Components

Look at the suspension components for signs of damage or unusual wear. Damage to these parts can be a direct consequence of frame damage or may indicate that the frame itself is no longer correctly supporting the vehicle.

What to Do After Checking Your Car’s Frame for Damage After Hitting a Curb

If you’ve already checked your car’s frame after hitting a curb, then you need to evaluate whether it’s damaged. Use the options below on what to do for either situation.

If It’s Damaged:

frustrated driver

Seek a Second Opinion

Before making any decisions, it’s wise to get a second opinion from another trusted mechanic or body shop. Frame damage can significantly impact your vehicle’s safety, performance, and value, so a comprehensive evaluation is crucial.

Consider Insurance Options

Consult with your insurance company to understand your coverage for frame damage. Keep in mind that severe damage may lead the insurance company to declare the vehicle a total loss. If the car is repairable, be aware that its value may be affected by a salvage title or negative report on vehicle history databases.

READ MORE: Does Insurance Cover Curb Damage?

Professional Repair

If the frame damage is not deemed catastrophic, professional repair might be possible. This often involves straightening the frame or subframe and ensuring all alignment and structural integrity are restored. Remember, “bent is bent,” and any frame damage should be considered serious, requiring expert attention.

Cost Assessment

Be prepared for potentially high repair costs. Frame repair can be expensive, but it’s essential for maintaining the vehicle’s safety and operability. If the vehicle is older or has lower value, weigh the repair costs against the vehicle’s worth to decide if repairs are economically viable.

If It’s Not Damaged:

happy driver

Alignment Check

Even if the frame isn’t damaged, it’s prudent to have the vehicle’s alignment checked by a professional. An alignment shop can provide precise measurements and adjust your vehicle’s suspension and steering components back to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Monitor Vehicle Performance

Continue to observe your vehicle’s performance closely after the incident. Any new or worsening symptoms (such as unusual noises, handling difficulties, or tire wear) should prompt a revisit to a mechanic.

Maintenance and Prevention

Use this experience as a reminder of the importance of regular vehicle maintenance and cautious driving. Avoiding curbs and other obstacles can prevent similar incidents in the future.

Here are additional questions that might have gone through your mind as we’ve explored this topic. Check each of them to see if they tick the box.

How much does this type of repair cost?

The cost of repairing frame damage varies widely based on the severity of the damage. Minor bender fenders or slight bends might cost between $600 to $1,000 to repair.

For more severe damage, the cost can escalate to $10,000 or more, especially if it necessitates replacing entire sections of the frame. This process might involve cutting off damaged parts and welding new metal pieces in place, requiring industrial machines to stretch the car back to its original shape​​.

Are there any long-term effects on a car after repairing frame damage?

The long-term effects on a car after repairing frame damage depend on the repair quality and the damage extent. Properly repaired vehicles can perform well for many years, but severe damage may result in lingering issues like alignment problems, reduced structural integrity, and potential safety concerns.

Regular inspections and maintenance are key to monitoring and addressing any long-term effects.

What other parts should I inspect?

In addition to the frame itself, inspect related components that might have been affected by the impact, including the suspension system, alignment, and any parts of the vehicle’s body near the damage.

These areas can reveal hidden damage that might not be immediately apparent but can affect the vehicle’s performance and safety.

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Well, there you have it.

Hitting a curb does indeed damage your car’s frame and can lead to additional problems if left unattended.

We recommend that you read through our full guide on how to properly avoid curbs. It’s a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know if you want to avoid repeating these mistakes.

Similarly, our product, The Original Smooth Curb Driveway Curb Ramp, will ensure that your curb-hitting problems go away when you’re in contact with your driveway.

You’ll be talking less about hitting curbs and more about how this curb ramp helps you glide through and back into your driveway with ease.

If you’re interested in similar topics, consider browsing through our blog, where we’ve delved into topics such as ‘What to Do After Hitting a Curb With My Car’s Front Passenger Side‘, and ‘How to Drive Up a Steep Driveway in a Lowered Car‘.

Really, it was only a matter of time before you hit a curb and messed up your frame.

All drivers go through this problem, and you’re just experiencing the norm. What’s important is that you’re here, and you’re trying to make a change by learning and adapting.

Taking into account what we’ve discussed today, we hope we’ve helped you address your car’s potential frame damage dilemma. Revisit this site if you’ve got other similar problems, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in our next post.

As always, drive safe!