A used car dealer is legally required to disclose the condition of a car, including damaged frames. Unfortunately, you may not notice this damage when buying a used car. Therefore, when a dealer fails to disclose this issue, you may end up with an unsafe car, putting yourself and other road users in danger.
Here are some warning signs to help you spot a damaged frame.
1. Poor alignment
One of the most obvious signs of frame damage is misalignment. This issue can cause your car to pull more in one direction. Sometimes, a realignment service may correct the issue, but if your car cannot drive in a straight direction after the procedure, then your car may have frame damage.
2. Strange noises
If you hear creaking or rattling sounds, something could be wrong with your car. The noise could be due to frame damage if the car was previously involved in an accident. After an accident, vehicle components move out of alignment and collide with other components they’re not supposed to. For example, a car with a damaged frame might produce a strange noise when turning. This may be caused by the tires colliding with the wheel well.
3. Unusual tire wear
Tires may wear irregularly for many reasons. However, if you notice different tire wear patterns, there is a chance the frame may be damaged. Frame damage may alter your car’s geometry, causing the tires to track irregularly. This leads to unusual tread wear.
4. Ill-fitting parts
If your car has a damaged frame, some components, like screws and bolts, may fall out of place. The doors and windows may also fail to open or close as easily as they should.
When you buy a used car from a dealer, they’re supposed to disclose the car’s history, including whether it was in a prior accident. But if the dealer fails to disclose this information and you notice the above signs of frame damage, you should seek compensation for damages and get a full refund of the sale price.