Car Frame Damage & Structural Damage

Last Updated on March 22, 2018 by Jason Mason

Frame or structural damage to a vehicle is caused by a serious accident. A vehicle with frame damage or structural damage is unsafe to drive. Unfortunately, you will find these vehicles having a clean title. Many dealers sell them knowing that the vehicles’ frames or structural components had been damaged before. They do not disclose the damage because they feel that the car buyers will believe that vehicles have a clean title. When dealers hide this fact, they normally want to make larger profits from unsuspecting car buyers.

The law requires dealerships who are selling vehicles with frame or structural damage to disclose the state to the car buyers. Disclosure must be done properly without hiding anything as stipulated by the consumer protection laws.

So, if you are shopping for a great used car, you will need to hire a certified mechanic to conduct frame and structural inspection. Other ways to determine the structural or frame damage include:

  • Salvage Title: If the frame or structural damage were a result of a previous accident, the car should have a salvage title. By looking at the title, you will know whether the car has been involved in an accident that led to structural or frame damage.
  • Look for recent paintwork: Taillights are covered with spray paint to conceal evidence of any frame damage which had taken place. This is one of the places that you will need to check to see whether the car was repainted or repaired.
  • Check for the unevenness in the reflection: A new car has a smooth paint surface. But a repaired car, which had been involved in a serious accident that led to structural damage has some unevenness in the reflection.
  • Radiator weld marks: If the car was involved in a serious collision, you will find it having some weld marks on its radiator.
  • Gaps in lines: Check the car carefully for any gaps that may be present on the panels, trunk, hood or doors. If the gaps between the lines are uneven, then the car lining might have been fixed after a serious accident.