The Real Cost of Repairing an Aluminum Ford F-150 | Consumer Reports

The Real Cost of Repairing an Aluminum Ford F-150 | Consumer Reports


if you’re in the market for a new car a truck you’ll increasingly find vehicles made with aluminum and that’s a good thing aluminum makes cars lighter compared to steel which means those cars are better able to meet fuel efficiency standards we here at Consumer Reports support while aluminum isn’t new for high-end vehicles like this Tesla Ford is now using aluminum for the body of the best-selling vehicle in America the Ford f-150 one question in consumers minds is it more time consuming and more expensive to fix than steel and Consumer Reports we want you to have the facts to make the smartest purchasing decisions whether for your family or the environment recently we saw that Auto website Edmunds use a sledgehammer to dent an f-150 its goal find out whether it costs more to repair an aluminum truck than one made of steel and their conclusion was yes here at Consumer Reports test track we want to help you truly understand the benefits of aluminum bodied vehicles and the smartest ways to take care of them while Edmunds concluded that fixing the aluminum f150 would cost quite a bit more than if it were steel they may have come to that conclusion erroneously because they took the truck to a dealer that was not certified by Ford to work on aluminum bodies we asked Edmunds why and in a statement Scott Oldham editor-in-chief of Edmunds calm said our f150 experiment was designed to simulate a service experience for any regular truck owner like many of these owners we took our vehicle to the nearest Ford dealership for the repairs the service advisor said that his facility could handle the repairs and we trusted him to get the work done the work was performed within the time in the cost that was quoted to us and we were satisfied with the quality of the repairs however as we’ve reported you could find an aluminum repair certified shop easily at 4.com some 754 dealerships and another 1000 independent shops now carry the certification according to Ford if Edmonds had taken the truck to a certified shop the repairs might have been completed at half the time a certified shop would need to maintain the proper equipment for aluminum repair so they might have replaced the panel rather than just banging the dent out also the aluminum body panels on the f-150 often cost about the same as steel ones and ford engineered the f-150 aluminum panels to be easier to replace which also cuts down a repair all of which could have significantly reduced labor costs generally Consumer Reports data shows that independent repair shops score better on our service satisfaction survey when the case of specialized work such as this we recommend you go to a certified Ford dealership if you decide to go to an independent make sure the Ford is certified them as well ultimately the jury is still out on what ownership costs will be in the long run but thus far body repair costs seem to be in line with the previous generation steel body bottle even better insurance companies seem to agree we found that they aren’t charged in aluminum f-150 owners more for collision coverage this is all great news for consumers since aluminum is crucial in the development of more fuel-efficient cars and trucks low gas prices won’t last forever and automakers have to hit an average of fifty four point five miles per gallon by 2025 according to government requirements for example the Ford f-150 is 700 pounds lighter in aluminum versus steel which ford claims yields a two miles per gallon improvement we’ll find out for sure when we finish testing our test truck we expect to see more automakers rolling out cars made with aluminum bodies but meanwhile Consumer Reports gives aluminum the green light as a promising technology that saves gas


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