Possible broken frame

Tiny
SHELLI_BABY_123
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 163,439 MILES
I just bought a 97 chevy monte carlo an now through the grape vine I'm hearing that it has a broken frame. I have children that ride in this car so it kinda makes me nervous. Its never been in an accident and the body is in really good condition givin the year and its been in vermont its whole life. The car is quiet and drives like a dream. I've had it going 85 on the interstate. It was insected in october too. What would some of the signs be that itsframe is broken?
Michelle Burbo
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Saturday, May 21st, 2011 AT 6:14 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Your grapevine is in need or repair. The car doesn't have a frame. It is a unibody design which means it gets its strength from rolled up sheet metal. Chrysler has been using that design very successfully since 1960.

There are some things that can break due to rust, but nothing like the problems Ford is having with their minivans. The first thing you can do is check for proper tire wear. It takes me hours to go over all the possible signs of trouble in a classroom with live people. To describe that over a computer is almost impossible. The best place to find that information is in a textbook in the library of a community college with an Automotive program. When structural parts of a car are broken or bent, handling and tire wear problems can be expected. My guess is you won't have either.

The best way to put your mind at ease is to have the car inspected at a tire and alignment shop. Even if rust is an issue, it takes a real lot of it to weaken a unibody car. I drive very old Chryslers up here in Wisconsin, the road salt capital of the world, and my rusty trusty vehicles have never had a structural problem.

If an alignment specialist tells you there is a tire wear problem, have him show you exactly what he is looking at, then I can explain how that could occur and what might be causing it.
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Saturday, May 21st, 2011 AT 7:16 AM

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