Have you been hearing a rattling noise under your car whenever you drive? Maybe your handling has just felt a little off since you hit that big pothole the other day. The problem could be your undercarriage.

Read on below to learn more about the undercarriage damage, what the undercarriage is, and what to do if it is damaged.

What Does An Undercarriage Do?

The undercarriage of a car is a supportive frame structure on the bottom of the vehicle. It is right underneath the cabin and consists of a chassis.

It provides a base for the rest of the vehicle and connects parts like the:

  • Axles

  • Wheels

  • Brake lines

  • Exhaust system

  • Suspension

symptoms of undercarriage damage

The undercarriage is built to be durable and withstand a variety of damage. However, it is not indestructible. Below, we examine how this tough underbody can be damaged and what to do if that happens.

What Happens If You Hit The Undercarriage Of A Car?

The undercarriage is the first line of defense for so many important vehicle parts. So, getting hit is never a good thing.

Your undercarriage can be damaged by a number of things including:

  • Potholes

  • Debris on the road

  • Gravel

  • Salt on the road

  • Mud

  • Rust

  • Corrosion

These will cause varying degrees of damage and some can take longer than others to cause severe damage. For example, salt on a road hitting the undercarriage can cause rust and corrosion over time.

However, large potholes and debris can cause immediate damage that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

If your undercarriage is hit, you can experience these symptoms:

  • Steering issues

  • Rattling sounds under the car

  • Delayed turning

  • Leaking fluid

  • Pulling to one side

  • Excessive suspension or tire wear

can you replace an undercarriage

If other parts like the axles, exhaust system, or even the transmission are damaged as well then you might notice additional symptoms.

What Does Undercarriage Damage Look Like?

Oftentimes, undercarriage damage is visible. Debris and gravel can leave scratches and dents while more severe damage can show up as hanging parts.

Here’s what to look out for if you’re looking for visible signs of undercarriage damage:

  • Deep scratches

  • Cracks

  • Dents

  • Scrapes

  • Leaking fluid

  • Hanging parts

If you hit the undercarriage of your car, you can damage parts and systems that are crucial to your car’s movement like the axles and suspension. Severe undercarriage damage can even impact the rest of the vehicle’s frame or cause cracks or holes in the exhaust system.

However, undercarriage damage is not always visible. For instance, a rattling noise under the car will not always equate to visible damage. Even a rattling noise under the car when it’s idle might not show any obvious damage. But just because you can’t see the issue, doesn’t mean you should ignore it.

Can You Fix Undercarriage Damage?

In many cases undercarriage damage is fixable. However, if there is severe damage, the undercarriage may need to be replaced.

Minor damage like scratches and dents are examples of issues that can be repaired. Any deeper or more extensive damages will likely warrant a replacement service.

How Much Does Undercarriage Damage Repair Cost?

Undercarriage repair costs can vary greatly. For instance, if the undercarriage only has some dents and scratches, your bill will likely be between $500 and $3,000.

However, a serious repair job for damage to not only the underbody but additional parts like suspension can run you well over $3,000.

Here’s a breakdown of some repair cost estimates if your undercarriage and related parts are damaged:

  • Rust repair: $150 - $2,000

  • Frame rust repair: $2,000 - $3,500

  • Exhaust pipe repair: $125-$300

  • Transmission repair: $80-$400

  • Suspension repair: $200-$1,500

Can You Replace An Undercarriage?

what does an undercarriage do

Severe undercarriage damage usually requires replacement over repair. Deep scratches, holes, severe rust, and hanging parts often need more work than a simple repair.

In these cases, you’ll likely need to pay for total part replacement depending on which components and systems are affected. Below, we break down the costs of some of these replacements.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Undercarriage?

Part or total system replacement is usually much more expensive than a repair. Besides the cost of the parts themselves, you’ll need to pay a lot for labor as replacement jobs require more time and skill.

Take a look at the costs of some common undercarriage part replacement jobs below:

Service Cost

Strut/Shock Absorber Replacement


Front and Rear Axle Replacement


Transmission System Replacement

$1,200 - $4,000

Exhaust System Replacement


Brake Lines Replacement


Gas Tank Replacement


DamagedCars Buys Cars With UnderCarriage Damage

how much does it cost to replace undercarriage

If you’re tired of hearing a metal rattling noise under your car due to undercarriage damage and know that paying for repairs is not a sound financial decision, DamagedCars can help.

We’re here to get your broken vehicle off your driveway for a fair price. We buy all kinds of cars no matter what condition they are in – including models like yours that have pricey undercarriage damage.

That’s because we look at a variety of factors outside of your car’s condition, year, make, and model. We also look into things like trim, special features, and the car’s current market demand.

This is how you can get sell your car to DamagedCars today:

  1. Find out your car’s worth in 90 seconds using our calculator.

  2. Accept our offer and schedule a free tow pick-up.

  3. Hand over your keys and collect your check!

You can have your car out of your yard in 24 to 48 hours by working with us.

Try out our estimation tool today to find out how much your car is worth!

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Drive Without An Undercarriage?

While possible, it is not recommended to drive without an undercarriage. Without this shield protecting all of the vehicle parts on the bottom of your car, not only will dirt accumulate where it shouldn’t but your car can easily get damaged by objects and debris on the road.

Is The Undercarriage Cover Of A Car Important?

Yes, the undercarriage of a car is important. Not only does it provide structural support and a base for the vehicle, but it also protects crucial parts as well as the cabin right above it.

The undercarriage prevents dirt, grime, moisture, and debris from getting the many moving parts on the bottom of your vehicle. This means that they are protected from damage and the elements. With the undercarriage, your car would likely wear away much faster.

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