When a vehicle is in a collision, it means that it made contact with another moving object. Sometimes, vehicles make contact with stationary objects, or stationary vehicles are hit by other moving things.
When a vehicle collides with something else, whether it’s another vehicle or another object, the moving object, or both moving objects, have force. For safety reasons, vehicles today are designed to absorb that force in such a way that the passengers inside the vehicle are protected as much as possible. However, that means that even in smaller accidents, the force is directed away from the inside of the vehicle, and its often absorbed by other parts of the vehicle, which can bend and break. Sometimes, that means the frame of the car bends to absorb the force of the collision and protect the occupants.
How Frame Size Affects a Collision Repair
While many pieces of a vehicle can be replaced, like the hood, the door panels, or the bumper, the frame isn’t usually one of them. The frame of most cars is made of steel, or a comparable metal, and it’s considered the skeleton of the vehicle. Instead of repairing the frame, it's usually repaired, or bent back into shape.
What happens when the frame is reshaped is that it’s molded to look like it did originally, but it’s not easy to get it exactly right. Measuring the frame allows you and your collision technicians to ensure that the frame is exactly how it should be - the same as it was before the collision.
Imagine taking a brand new piece of aluminum foil, crumpling it up, and then trying to flatten it again. While you can get it pretty with your hands, it won’t have the same look that it did initially without a tool. You really can’t know for sure that it’s exactly how it was when you started unless you measure it before and after crumpling and flattening it.
Why Does Frame Measuring Matter?
There are some pieces of a vehicle that can be replaced if they’ve been damaged enough to need it. However, those pieces are produced to fit the original vehicle, and they’re designed to meet certain standards of safety, efficiency, and quality. In order to ensure that all parts fit on your vehicle correctly and meet those standards, it’s important that your collision repair shop measures the frame of your vehicle after repairing it. If you have concerns about the frame of your vehicle – don’t hesitate to ask!