After an Accident, Choose a Body Shop That Can Handle Frame Straightening

After an accident, most cars need frame straightening, or at least a check to see if the car sustained damage to the frame. When the body of your car is repaired without the frame being fixed, you may find that your car is always out of alignment and that your tires wear unevenly and need frequent replacement.

How does a Shop Assess Condition of your Frame?

Modern cars either have a straight rail system or unibody construction that determines how the shop will approach your frame straightening. In any case, they will put your car on a frame machine that measures your car to make sure all parts are properly aligned.

Full-size cars, pickups, and vans with a straight rail system have a frame that consists of two steel beams running the length of the vehicle attached to a front beam. The transmission, engine, and suspension are mounted on the rail system, and the body of the car is set on top.

Cars with unibody construction, which describes cars built after the 1980s, have a skeleton formed by metal panels and a subframe where the transmission, engine, and suspension are mounted. Exterior panels of the car are attached to the skeleton. Although there may be less damage to the frame if the unibody construction absorbs some energy from the crash, cars are built with crumple zones that crush if a collision occurs to protect the driver and passengers from the impact of the crash. As a result, even a car involved in a low speed accident may need frame straightening.

How Frame Straightening Works

In examining the frame, a body shop technician puts the car on the frame machine, secures it with chains and clamps, and raises it up for greater visibility to assess the damage. They compare what they can see visually with a computer readout, which targets areas of the car that need straightening. Then using hydraulics and torque, they get it back to factory specs. Continuous printouts verify that the car is aligned correctly down to the last millimeter.

They used to straighten cars with straight rail frames by softening the middle with heat before straightening. Newer cars use high molecular steel that changes structure in the presence of heat, so heat is no longer used. On badly damaged unibody cars, the shop may replace damaged parts if straightening does not get the frame back to normal.

In selecting a body shop, you should verify that the facility has straightening equipment in-house or if they send the car elsewhere for that part of the repair. A place that claims to do it on-site should have straightening machines, laser measurement tools, and laser frame straightening tools, plus technicians who are qualified to do the work. It is more convenient to use a shop with straightening equipment on hand.

Future Problems with Frame Straightening

What is important is that a proper frame straightening takes place. You may find yourself paying out-of-pocket later if your car has problems that relate to the frame. Since accidents weaken the frame and result in small cracks that can make the car more susceptible to future damage, driving around with a bent frame can be dangerous. Unresolved frame issues also affect the resale value of your car.

After an accident, make sure that your car is thoroughly inspected for damage and that any necessary frame straightening is properly done.

How a Junk Car Shop Can Stand Out

Through its presentation

This may sound superficial to some of you, but customers often judge a business by the way it presents itself. I am not just talking about the physical appearance of the shop. A business’s presentation goes all the way to its marketing campaigns as well.

It means that a lame commercial and an ugly shop can both affect the perceptions of the customers. Even though the shop is mostly dealing with junk cars, it will greatly help the business’s image if it can avoid looking like junk.

Through its staff

Competence is a big reason when one inspects a popular business. A car shop achieves that status only when its staff really is competent. The business’s people must also show the customers that they are reliable.

The junk car shop’s agents, mechanics, clerks, office people, and receptionists must all convince the customers that they are worth dealing with, that the customers can put their confidence in the shop because its people are trust-worthy. Customers are judgmental. They are also self-important. One wrong move from the staff and you can expect them to go storming out the shop.

Through its services

Okay. What is the main service of a car shop? Of course, it has to become buying junk cars from interested sellers. Naturally, that is the main agenda in every marketing or promotional material. However, a business without variety is boring. The business’s customer base will limit to only one consumer group. Continuing with that process can become counter-productive.

The car shop is still in the automobile industry. However, if the business deals with other services too like car reconstruction and recycling, it can tap on a diversified and larger customer base. More people are likely to recommend the business to friends as well.

Through its more products

As mentioned above, the shop does not have to stay with only one service. In this case, offering more products can also help with the exposure and customer reach of the shop. The products can become anything from used or brand new car parts to car accessories.

The shop can even make a deal with a different business specializing in-car parts or similar products. The junk car shop can sell the products in the shop while the other business can make the shop its partner and help promote the business to its customers. This is a sweet deal if the shop does not have enough budget to invest on selling other products.

How To Shop For And Find Any Auto Parts You May Need For Your Vehicle

Inevitably, if you own a vehicle you will eventually need parts for it. It doesn’t matter if your car is 30 years old or 5 years old, sometimes you have to get additional replacement parts even if it is something as simple as a light bulb. Whatever the case may be, there are numerous places you can look into to find the parts but you want to try to find them at the best price as well.

Many people feel compelled to pay the price for brand new parts if they have a newer vehicle and if they shop at their dealer or at a local auto parts store they will probably pay the highest price possible. The thing to remember however is that there are probably tons of cars just like yours with the same parts that will work perfectly on your car lying around in wrecking yards or even on the internet. The best thing about this is that these parts can be found at a fraction of the cost of a new part and in most cases will work just as good and last just as long.

For vehicles that are only ten years old or so you will be able to find all kinds of parts for them at a local auto wrecker. They usually have a plethora of parts like windshields, mirrors, radiators, wheels, and even motors! You can save a ton of money this way. I remember having to buy a shift assembly for a Dodge Neon for my son, the dealer wanted nearly $200, I got it at a local salvage yard for $20 and they removed it for me! Some of the better ones will even have the parts they have available listed on a computer so all you have to do is ask if they have the part or not.

If you have an older vehicle it is sometimes difficult to find the part at a reasonable price due to supply and demand and the fact that they just don’t keep that many parts around for vintage vehicles. If this is your situation the best place may be the internet. There are numerous online parts stores that will have access to parts like these and if all else fails you can also try eBay. I have had great success finding parts for rare vehicles there.

If you own a vehicle that was made in the early sixties or before you will probably have a tough time finding parts that are inexpensive. In most cases the parts will be rare and difficult to find and the rarer they are the more they are going to cost. It may be best to check all of the salvage yards in your area first, and then check out used car locaters online who may be able to help you find what you are looking for. Many of these sources have networks of parts houses that may have what you need.