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The Importance of Auto Frame Straightening

If you happen to be in a car accident in Virginia Beach, VA or anywhere else, there are several things you’ll want to do—make sure nobody is seriously injured, exchange insurance information and check the damage on your vehicle to see if it’s safe to drive. It may seem like you only have a few scratches or dents, so you shrug it off as bad luck and continue your journey.

However, even if it was a minor collision and it doesn’t look like there was much damage on the surface, it’s always a good idea to have a collision repair facility (like Rick Hendrick Collision Virginia Beach) look at your vehicle. A body shop can let you know if there is anything to be concerned about and give you a repair estimate. They can also let you know something very important that you can’t just tell from looking at your vehicle—if your car frame needs to be straightened.

AutoBody-review the importance of auto frame straighteningMany people question the necessity of having their car frame straightened. The fact is that it's crucial. Not only will you avoid steering and suspension problems, but by straightening the frame it will protect the integrity of the car’s structure. Otherwise, the frame might not be strong enough to hold up if you’re in another accident.

The “crumple zone” is an area in your vehicle designed to crumple and crush during an accident to absorb some of the impact. Although crumple zones help mitigate fatalities, there can still be problems with the frame of your vehicle. It’s very common and happens in about half of all car accidents.

Auto frame machines are used to restore your car frame to its original shape. Depending on the type of frame you have and the damage, the machine allows a technician to push or pull the frame back into place using hydraulics, leverage and sheer torque.

The machines used for standard vehicles are 15-24 feet; for larger vehicles, trucks and SUVs, a machine up to 24 feet might be needed.

So, how does a collision repair shop straighten your frame? First, a vehicle is driven up to the platform using the loading ramps. Then chains are attached to pull the frame. The tension is adjusted using hydraulics. Some frame machines use computer measuring equipment so accurate adjustments can be made. The original dimensions of the vehicle—height, weight and length—are entered in the system and then the frame machine pushed or pulls the car back to its pre-accidcent condition.

It’s always a good idea to go to a repair facility to find out if the damage is minor and can be realigned or if it is more severe. In either case, it will keep you and your passengers safe on the road.

Sources: Wikipedia, Autobody News and Yahoo

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