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Bent unibody+chevy cavalier

My 2005 chevy was hit on the drivers front wheel and fender. I had it repaired at a chevy dealer. I was told that a part of the unibody was bent and it was cut out and a new piece welded in. The car has been taken back 5 times because it will not hold alignment and it is making sounds like the frame or something underneath is stressing… can anyone help me understand what may be going on?

The body shop may need to go in and put in more tack welds where they did the repair. The metal used in cars is very thin and very difficult to weld so a lot of tack welds are used instead of one big seam weld. They may not have used enough tack welds and its flexing.

Is this common practice to cut and weld a frame when bent instead of the car being considered a total loss. The insurance company has paid 5000.00 in repairs already. If the body shop refuses to do anymore repairs, what is my recourse?

Sell the car, it will never be the same. In most cases, these wrecked cars should never be repaired. They CLAIM they can fix them “good as new” but once you crush a beer can, it’s NEVER “good as new”…

Before you give up, have a second, independent shop inspect the repair job and see if THEY find problems. If so, ask your insurance company to total the car and move on…

Dump this car ASAP. It will never be right again. Once the unibody is bent, that’s it. You can play games if you want to, but the damage is done and it will never be fixed, no matter how much they cut, weld, bend, align, etc.

Your car is bent beyond its limits. I suggest you bail out now and find another car.

I’m surprised the insurance company was willing to put $5,000 into this car. It must have been just on the edge of being totaled.

Don’t waste your time or money on this wreck. Get away from it any way you can.

yeah, that is what I was thinking. The thing is, I just bought the car in May…paid the 1st payment on the 19th and it was hit on the 22nd…as of now, I have paid only 2 payments!!! I am getting the royal, well you know!

Is this common practice to cut and weld a frame when bent

A frame rail can be “spliced” in depending on how severe & where the the frame rail is damaged. It also depends if the rail to be spliced is in a location that is ok’d by GM & the ins. company.

If the body shop refuses to do anymore repairs, what is my recourse?
If the shop has any integrity (and assuming what you are describing is accurate) they should not refuse it since they should have repaired it once properly. If not the insurance company should get back into it, they can do reinspects.

Nobody can fault a shop for missing something since it’s not a perfect world but 5 times?! They sound clueless. It is much easier and cheaper to fix the vehicle 1 time. Any comebacks are wasted money.

Find out what the car books for and ask the insurance company how far away it was from being a total loss. If it was a borderline total they would rather repair than total. Explain the problem in a calm but firm manner but don’t get mean or snotty, it will work against you.

They will not want to total it now that it is repaired but if what you are saying is accurate they may/might/possibly, choose to total it. If so, they will then sell the car to a salvage yard or sell it at an auto auction to recoup some of thier money.

When I was an appraiser and inspected a borderline total I did all I could to total the car to avoid problems like this. If the insurance comp. choose to repair it was thier baby if problems arose.

POst back with any updates, hope all goes well.

This may not look as bad as I have stated, but trust me…it is doing everything I have explained!

Yeesh. Not only was the unibody bent, but a part of the front end was as well (evidenced by the wheel facing upwards). Trying to make one bent/repaired area fit perfectly with another bent/repaired area is an exercise in futility. I suspect no matter how hard they try, the alignment on this car will never, ever stay true.

God, such terrible bad luck. You just buy the thing and something like this happens.

FINALLY my lawyer called me back, he is going to contact the other partys insurance company on Monday to tell them the car needs to be totaled… they will have the adjuster take another look into how the car is as of now. I want to thank all of you for helping inform a “stupid woman”, that is how I have been treated by the auto repair shop. I am armed with your information and that has gotten someones attention! Thanks again. I will keep you posted.

Wow, from this angle is does not look that bad. I wish I could see the estimate that “Jethro’s Auto Body” wrote. It appears as though the fender, front cover and lt ft suspension was damaged but I suspect the apron was damaged also. From this view the lt ft frame rail could not have been damaged. Sounds as if the body shop has thier head up thier rear ends. Again, from this view it appears it as if it was a somewhat easy fix but some people i.e. this shop, are in the wrong business.

Please do not call yourself, even pretending, “stupid woman”. The shop may have treated you as such but I am sure it is because they are trying to cover up the shortcomings in thier own lives. It’s an insecurity thing with people and it comes out in various and shallow ways.


I was not calling myself a stuipd woman. Thank you for saying that, I feel as that is how I am being treated by the shop. Here is another view. Thanks again for all of your input!

Wow, it’s hard to believe the shop could not fix this. Well, as I have already said, these guys are in the wrong business. Be persistant and stick to your guns, keep us posted on the outcome.

Budd, what type of work do you do for a living? You seem to have great knowledge in this matter. Just wondering!

I’m merely a physics student at university, who does a lot of do-it-yourself work on my cars. I used to have an S-10 pickup that got crunched into on the passenger-side front corner, and I recall having difficulty making things fit together again. Even with replacement fender, grille, etc. things just didn’t quite line up properly. The truck also never drove quite the same again.

The knowledge, in this case, is because I’ve been there. And it sucks. :slight_smile: