Professional Auto Structural Alignment

Alignment is the arrangement of your vehicle’s basic structural components in relation to each other and the arrangement of the various body panels and suspension components.  Once our specialist assess the magnitude of the damage to your car, our skilled technicians will know if it is minor damage or major damage.

Full frame vehicles are made using a heavy steel frame.  Separate sheet metal body components are bolted to this rigid frame.  In a unibody vehicle, the structural shell or body is made by welding together frame and body panels into a single, rigid, hull-like structure.  This requires extra care in locating and estimating collision damage.

Unibody construction uses lightweight, high-strength steels requiring highly specific welding techniques.  These types of vehicles require exact alignment for proper operation of steering, suspension, and other mechanical components.

Types of Collision Damage to Frame

  • Buckle.  This is a slight or minor bend in the frame or side member.
  • Diamond.  This is a condition in which one side of the car has been moved to the rear or front causing the frame or body to be out of square.
  • Mash.  This is an extensive or major buckle, resulting in a section or frame member of the auto being shorter than factory specifications.
  • Sag.  This is a condition in which the cowl areas of the car are lower than proper specifications.
  • Sidesway.  This is a condition in which the front, center, or rear portion of the auto has been pushed sideways by impact and is out of alignment.
  • Twist.  This is a condition in which one corner of the auto is higher than normal.

Unfortunately, most collisions result in a mix of one or more of these damage problems.

Quality Alignment Repair Process

If your car has major car damage it may require professional alignment.  Most major car damages are on your car’s:

  • Differential parts
  • Engine parts
  • Frame
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Underbody

After our leading technician assess the damage to your car, the specialist will decide on a repair method.  The method depends on the extent and location of the damage.  Structural damage must be repaired before straightening sheet metal body panels.

If the chassis or unibody shell is bent, the only way to make it correct again is to have the skilled technician straightened it on a frame straightening table.

The basic process for frame straightening is to have the expert tech first drive or winch the vehicle on the rack.  Then he must take measurements at specific locations with precise measuring equipment.  Finally, he will pull the chassis or unibody back into correct alignment by using hydraulic jacks.  This frame straightening process squares up the chassis.


“Thoroughly impressed with the work- at this body shop they work magic. Dents I bought the car from the dealer with got removed somehow- everyone said it couldn’t be done. Jaider and his crew pay special attention to detail as if the car was their own. They did a couple minor things that I didn’t even ask, and made sure to fully test drive and align my car before giving it back shiny new- highly recommend them for any automotive needs.”

-Tino T., Philadelphia, PA, 4/11/2015

As of Monday, November 15th, 2021 we are NOT accepting any new work or estimate appointment requests, because…

WE ARE MOVING!  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.  If you would like to know our new location, please fill out the form below and we will notify you once we settle in and are ready to accept work.

Where can you find an skilled alignment auto body repair shop in Van Nuys and Los Angeles?

At West Coast Body and Paint!  We are experts in a variety of collision repairs and major damage work that required structural alignment.  Come to our shop for a free structural alignment estimate, give us a call 818.785.2639, text 818.793.7728, or email us at  We are located in Van Nuys, we serve the San Fernando Valley and the Los Angeles area.

Ourestimates are always free and you are welcome to come by our shop anytime or make an appointment.  We know that many clients like the convenience of sending pictures of their car and request an estimate; but, in reality an estimate by this means is not really reliable.  Why?  Because the estimate will either be too high or too low.  In order to assess the damage and give an estimate, a car needs to be seen by a professional and in person.  This insures that the estimate is as accurate as possible, not too high or too low.  For more information click here.

If you are not able to come by our shop during normal working hours, you can give us a call or send us an email, and make an appointment when you can come, in most cases we are able to accommodate our clients.