Edmunds.com Editors Sledgehammer Aluminum 2015 Ford F-150 | PART 2

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We hit our new long-term 2015 Ford F-150 with a sledgehammer to test the theory that aluminum is more expensive to repair. After a week in the body shop, the repairs are done and we’re breaking down the cost.

Read more at our long-term road test blog: http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/long-term-road-tests/latest-updates/

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Comments

Edmunds.com says:

Here’s the conclusion to our sledgehammer vs +Ford Motor Company F-150
experiment: http://edmu.in/1Cd21hi

Kevin Ingalls says:

There’s a flaw in the science here. The body shop’s estimate for steel and
aluminum are both based on the damage done to an aluminum panel. So, the
“steel” estimate is irrelevant because a steel panel may have shown twice
the damage from the same amount of force of the hammer which would take
more hours to repair. For the sake of accurate science, you’d really need
to swing that hammer at an older steel F-150. Otherwise you could have
saved a lot of trouble and just called the body shop and asked them their
steel vs aluminum rates.

ahmed mido says:

so the cost of manufacturing aluminum body truck vs steel body (aluminum
body is cheaper) >> point to manufacturer
.
but with less weight, manufacturers can now use 4 cylinder turbos instead
of V6’s which cost more >> point to manufacturer
.
the use of aluminum body has proven by this video to draw customers to pay
MORE for repairs >> point to manufacturer
.
the use of turbo engines has proven to make stress on engines causing more
wear = expensive repair >> point to manufacturer
>
>
manufacturers had indeed thought of every tiny bit to squeeze money out of
customers’ pockets. You would think that by lowering the cost, vehicles
should now be cheaper. But look around, have prices changed? the answer is
yes, but it ironically became more expensive. so they are lowering the cost
of manufacturing yet charging consumers more money !!!

hartsickdisciple says:

What they’re not mentioning is that a steel panel would have sustained more
damage, given the same impacts. That would result in a higher repair bill.
Apples to oranges comparison.

Walter Riggs says:

Hammer missed the tail light… 900$ tail light cracks anyway. Quality
work there, Ford.

enemay says:

This does not look good for the new F-150

venom5809 says:

Trying to figure out why paying out of pocket costs half as much as going
through insurance? You know damn well the insurance company is not paying
double what you are, in fact probably much less than your out of pocket
costs, so why the inflated number? Also I highly doubt it takes double the
time to fix this over steel or anywhere near the amount of time they claim
it takes, just sounds like price gouging. 

Collision Hub says:

Are you kidding me? Has Ford Collision repair engineers seen this and
approved? 

DigitalYojimbo says:

I don’t get it why piss away $4k couldn’t they have done a hypothetical ?
It’s not like there is a super computer encased in Swarovski crystals
behind the the panel. 

JoshorBrownKid says:

Dealerships are absolutely ridiculous. They an excessive amount of time and
still end up screwing things up. They try to replace things that haven’t
been majorly damaged and put newer, more expensive things in it’s place
(the taillight for example) About a year ago, I had my driver’s side mirror
clipped off by a truck. The cost to replace and paint it was well over
$1000. I asked my local body shop how much they it would have been to
replace it. They told me the mirror would have costed $300 and paint would
have been $250. So basically half of what the dealership costed and better,
quicker work with no flaws. If you’re curious, it’s a 2013 Infiniti with
Aspen Pearl paint; some really expensive paint.

geforcefly1982 says:

The purpose was to get a baseline for how much fixing this truck would
eventually cost. Well done Edmunds for sharing the knowledge (and telling
it like it is in every other video you do as well).

Kamaka Chang says:

Thanks for the experiment but it would have been better with a control
truck, a steel 2014 F-150. Without comparing the damage to a steel body you
did not answer if aluminum I stronger or weaker.

Kurt Burgess says:

I would think the aluminum repair cost will go down some in time. It’s
brand new tech. I can only imagine the greater visual damage for a steel
truck. Plus the potential corrosion over time. Seems lame to test this at
this time. Edmunds are the folks who paid 52k for a truck. Apparently they
can afford to fix it.

Criminal Customz says:

So $4000 bondo repair job. Which sticks to either aluminum or metal. And
can be done inexpensively by any independant shop for cheap.

I guess the sheeple insurance company will have to pay crazy money, which
will raise rates.

BTW, I wouldnt want bondo in my new truck, I wonder if and how, they
replace the bed side skin?



lexusfan100 says:

oh wow this a great 1st hand taste of the true cost of such a small
dent.Now i will have to think twice before purchasing a new f150

Ivan Vojt says:

Tesla owners are already crying about the cost to fix those aluminium
panels as well. Too bad those plastic Saturn panels offered zero weight
savings.

Sinbin Bijou says:

Now, to get a true “apples to apples” you would need to take the same
sledgehammer and hit the 2014 all steel version F150 in the same spots on
the box side. Coming from a bodyshop manager with over 25 years experience
that reps for our local Ford dealership and having gone through a ton of
training and purchased over 60k worth of equipment to repair this new
aluminum truck I know for a fact that if you hit the 2014 steel version on
the first swing you would be replacing the box side panel for sure which it
would run over 2500 bucks! The fact is the new aluminum is not just
lighter but it is much stronger when impacted. The fact it is more
expensive to repair is true but it takes alot more to dent the panels than
it does a steel panel. If you buy or own one of the new alum trucks and
need body repairs dont hesitate to call your ford service department and
ask them where to bring it. Most shops will not invest into training and
equipment to fix these truck properly and you want to make sure its done
right the first time so you dont end up with a POS later on.

MrTheHillfolk says:

I watched the first part and thought it was awesome.
And the second part was informative. I’d expect a mild increase in labor
time on aluminum.
BUT THE WHOLE DANG WORLD HAS GONE INSANE WHEN A TAILLIGHT IS 800$!!!!!
That’s just plain stupid.



charlietow says:

Is it more expensive to repair aluminum or steal? Instead of just calling a
body shop and asking, lets buy a brand new truck and hit it with a hammer.
That’s some fucking logic right there!

adamgreen222 says:

As others have noted, this is an interesting experiment, but you’ll need to
repeat it with a steel bodied 2014 truck to get the net-net or
apples-to-apples comparison.
I’d suggest engaging MythBusters to do a bit on their show (let Ford pick
up the tab.)
I’m sure you’ve thought through how to make this a more scientific endeavor.
You would need to get an industrial engineer to reproduce the pile driver
calcs on that sledge — otherwise, just go to the other side of your truck
and use the driver side panel — to reproduce the event say with the sledge
on a drop swing (to consistently reproduce the incidental angle and
velocity) impacting with the steel bodied F-150 and then be sure the
repairs are done by the same skill set and same estimator and same service
manager for costing. 

deusod says:

A couple thoughts for Ford lovers who are countering this. First, we all
know it’s going to be more expensive to fix…FACT. So eventually when the
Insurance companies catch on, you will be paying 30% more for your policy.
Second, aluminum is not as rigid as steel. This aluminum is forged and
treated to make it stronger than the current steel panels on trucks. So
this process the aluminum goes through will cost more. Guess who
pays?…….the customer as will be reflected on the selling price. So you
can be “wamboozled” to think this lighter aluminum truck getting better gas
mileage will save you money…….ahhhh think again.

Tyler Freeland says:

Wouldn’t the steel body have more damage with the same sledge hammer hits?

David Nieman says:

Is it me or does it look like they threw some bondo on there? in which case
any bloke with $200 and a weekend could do this.

Outdoorsman1944 says:

Better off going with a steel body, obviously because it’s cheaper to
repair as shown

mat k says:

and you could have just spoke about hours vs cost with out wasting money,
but there you go

Cody Walker says:

Can you please run a comparable test on a steel truck to see what kind of
damage would be done with the same kind of strikes. Is it possible there
would have been more damage to the steel panels? 

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