salvage hyundai
Buyer Tips Used Cars

Vehicle Frame Damage: How Does It Affect Your Car Purchase?

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 11/16/2021

Thinking of buying a salvage title vehicle but concerned about the “Frame Damage” status?

Can it be fixed properly to get a safe vehicle? 


We’ll help answer that!


If you have been in a collision, chances are your vehicle has sustained frame damage which is one of the worst types of damages that can happen. The frame damage causes misalignment which can cost a lot to repair and is not safe for driving – leading to more damage. 


The car accident where the damage was big

Your vehicle’s frame is the structural support system of your vehicle. The frame supports all the mechanical components, body, weight, and internal parts of the car.  


The truth is depending on the level of damage it may cost you a lot of money to repair. If you are looking to get a car on a budget, you will definitely save on accident or salvage vehicles because they are cheaper than clean-titled vehicles. But sometimes some of these vehicles come with severe frame damage.  Depending on the extent of damage, you may need to have the vehicle replaced or search for a less damaged vehicle to purchase.


Frame damage is caused by impact on your vehicle – it can be from potholes, slow speed collision, bumps, curb impacts, or a high-speed collision, etc.


Frame damage can vary – it may be a slight bend or destruction of the vehicle’s structural integrity. 


It may sometimes be hard to tell if your vehicle has frame damage – especially if it is minor damage. You have to inspect the vehicle by going under the hood and looking at the frame. If the frame is bent, you will notice the car dives being tilted to the side. It is important to inspect your vehicle if you were in any kind of collision. 


To understand the different types of frame damage and how they are repaired, please continue reading… 


1. Sagging Or Twisted Frame Damage

The sagging frame is identified by the gaps in the body of your vehicle. You will notice that parts of the frame are uneven and the vehicle leans toward the direction of the gap. If this is not addressed as soon as possible, the tires and coil wear out faster with time due to the strain.  


A twisted frame is the same kind of damage as the sagging frame damage but harder to spot. One of the ways to detect this damage is when you experience difficulty making turns and if your car doesn’t feel stable at high speed. The most accurate way to identify a twisted frame is to carry out a thorough inspection. 


Have a professional mechanic repair your sagging/twisted frame. They will most likely use frame straighteners and this is great for fixing minor frame damage. 


2. Sway Damage

Sway damage can be a pain for most drivers as the vehicle tends to lean in one direction especially if it hits a corner. It will be quite a hassle driving straight and you may feel vibrations as you drive. The good thing is that it is easier to detect and you can salvage the situation faster. 


Sway damage affects the vehicle alignment and can affect the transmission in the long run. The misalignment can lead to a total breakdown of the vehicle if it is not addressed as soon as possible.


Have your mechanic inspect your vehicle and have it repaired to avoid more damage and costly repairs. 


3. Mashed Frame Damage

This frame damage occurs when there is a head-on or rear-end collision and often results in the distortion of the hood, fenders, or rail. Mashed damage has a ripple effect of damages leading to sag, twist, and sway damage. 


You need to fix the damage as soon as possible to avoid a total breakdown of the vehicle. Meaning you will spend more on repairs or your vehicle may never be salvaged. 


Have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle and sort out the repairs. You can also have the frame replaced if your vehicle is more modern. 


Further Reading

  1. 5 Things to do to Restore Your Flooded Vehicle
  2. What You Need to Know About Hail Damaged Cars for Sale
  3. Used Car Auctions: 10 Major Damage codes You May Find in Car Listings
  4. 5 Major Physical Damages to Look out for Before Buying a Used Car from Online Auction


In general frame damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix and depending on the damage may never be salvaged. In most cases, the frame can be straightened back to normal but a few are left without hope of being repaired. 


If your vehicle is beyond repairs or the cost is too high for you to spend on fixing the frame damage and you are looking to get a new vehicle on a budget – try used car auctions.


You can take advantage of wholesale auction experts like Auto Auction Mall to assist you.   


Owning your dream car has never been easier with our inventory of over 150k vehicles you can make your choice. All you have to do is sign up for free – easy-peasy


To get started sign up here!