Why are the Edmunds editors hitting a Ford F-150 truck with a sledgehammer? Why not? The mad lads at Edmunds wanted to test out the repair process for the aluminum truck body on the 2015 F-150, which is a respectable cause. How did the process go, and what did these experts find out?
Watch Edmunds editors whack an aluminum Ford F-150 truck
It isn’t every day that work calls for sledgehammers and pickup trucks. But one day, the stars aligned for the people at Edmunds. The people at Edmunds purchased an aluminum-body 2015 Ford F-150 truck for one of the long-term tests. The point was to test how durable the aluminum body was compared to the steel body. Ford said the aluminum truck offered drivers better fuel economy, payload, and towing capacity.
With that, the group set forth to hit the Ford F-150 truck with a sledgehammer. The group wanted to see if the aluminum truck would be more expensive and more time-intensive to fix than a regular truck body. It was decided to hit the side of the bed with the sledgehammer because that area would need to be replaced and not just fixed.
“So in the name of consumer awareness, we dented our truck with two big blows from a sledgehammer,” Edmunds said. With that, the Ford F-150 was dented as needed.
The aluminum body Ford F-150 did better than anticipated
The impact of the sledgehammer blow dented the truck as expected and even cracked a taillight. However, it did take two big whacks with the sledgehammer to do enough damage. After that, the Ford F-150 went from the Edmunds garage to the local Ford dealership for an estimate. The damage looked easy enough at first, but it became more complicated. There were creases and folds in the aluminum that would need to be fixed in addition to the actual dents.
“According to the advisor, the aluminum would be much harder to fix than steel. His shop was trained to fix the aluminum but it required special tools and would take extra time. A job like this on an F-150 with steel panels ‘would take half the time.'”Edmunds
One of the major issues is that not all shops are equipped with specific tools to do the aluminum repair on vehicles like the Ford F-150. These include dedicated aluminum hand and power tools, an aluminum dent extraction system, and a Wet Mix air filtration system. Plus, the area has to have some sort of separation or isolation system due to the materials. But Edmunds says most shops will have this stuff as aluminum body panels aren’t exactly new. One way to be sure you find the correct kind of shop is by going to one that is part of the National Body Shop Network.
After all is said and done, the aluminum body didn’t make much of a difference
The repairs went smoothly, and the price was higher than anticipated, but not due to the aluminum. When the sledgehammer hit the side of the truck, it cracked a taillight. This, due to the chosen Lariat trim, had important sensors in it for the blind-spot warning safety system. Since that needed replacing, it made the price more expensive than anticipated.
However, when the shop quoted the prices for the repair, not much was different. The aluminum body panel that needed repair was $967.48. The steel version for the same F-150 was $967.48 as well. When all was said and done, it does cost a bit more to repair an aluminum-bodied truck like the 2015 Ford F-150 used here. It requires different tools and a bit more expertise, which drives the price up. Overall, though, you should expect to pay quite a bit if you hit any truck with a sledgehammer.