New F-150 Costs L-E-S-S to Repair

2015 f150-frame-and-body II

The last thing most people want to think about when they purchase a new vehicle is how much repairs will cost. However, that issue has been at the heart of some media stories and ad campaigns about the 2015 Ford F-150. They claim that aluminum is not as good as steel, and aluminum repairs are more costly.

Foundational assumptions go like this: Because the new aluminum body is more exotic, fewer repair experts are certified, repairs are more complex, and hourly and material costs will likely be higher than conventional steel repairs.

However, from what we're seeing, the truth is very different. The monthly newsletter for the Assured Performance Network, a nonprofit third-party repair-advocacy organization, is reporting that the 2015 Ford F-150 is actually less expensive to repair when comparing the average cost of its repairs to the average cost of repairing 2014 models. And it's less expensive by a wide margin.

Early statistics collected by Assured Performance from the Certified-Recognized Ford National Body Shop Program shows that the average cost of repairs on the 2015 aluminum-alloy F-150 is almost $870 less than the average cost of repairs for a steel-bodied 2014 F-150.

To be fair, these early 2015 F-150 repair costs are based on just 337 repairs so far this year from 121 Assured Performance member shops, while the full 2014 average is taken from a much larger — 1,238 — number of repairs from over 300 shops. The average repair cost for the 2014 Ford F-150 was $2,345.97, while the average repair cost of the new F-150 to date was $1,476.93.

Here's exactly how the newsletter delivered the information:

"As most know early on controversy swirled around cost and complexity of repairing the new aluminum alloy-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 compared to its steel-bodied predecessor.

"And the answer is? Early statistics provided by you and others in the Certified-Recognized Ford National Body Shop Program, show that average cost of repairing the 2015 F-150 is $1,476.93 based upon 337 repairs. Compare that to [the] 2014 F-150 at $2,345.97 based upon 1,238 repairs, or $869.04 less! This is also comparable to other full size pickups.

"Albeit early, and based upon limited data, that is significant!"

Whether 2015 F-150 repair costs will continue to trend low throughout the rest of the year remains to be seen (from what we're told, repair costs typically jump a bit during winter months), but it looks like preliminary reports from the repair industry about the new half-ton's modular construction and advanced materials are saving Ford buyers money. 

It should be noted this repair data makes no distinctions between cab configurations, which could become an issue for truck-makers (particularly half-ton makers) that have modified structural designs for different cab configurations that could result in varied crash test results. This topic is likely to become more popular as more comprehensive testing is done. 

Finally, common sense would tell you that if this Assured Performance report does pan out, insurance costs (also speculated to rise) could remain similar to last year or even drop a little. At a time when average prices for new pickup trucks keep climbing, wouldn't it be nice if we could save a little money when insuring the vehicle?

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2015 Ford F-150-truck_safe II



Owned Rams since 1996 and in all that time I have only two, count them, two minor warranty repairs that were both quickly taken care of.

My current 2014 Ram runs great and I expect it to be with me for a good 10 to 15 years depending on future products that may catch my attention.

Can anyone say damage control. Lol. to the rescue! Just another useless article to help ford overcome bad press of it's pos f150. You guys are unreal.

@David, You are right facts don't lie. Just compare recalls for F series vs Ram. Not only does Ford out number Ram take a look at how serious they are. Fire etc.. Give me the year on those Fords and I will find the Recalls. Ford lost me when mine burnt to the ground. Than I found out how common Ford's do that. Just Google Ford Fire! You would have to be deaf dumb and blind not to see that fact not to mention all their other recalls for transmission steering and brakes. Get a clue. Consumer reports say's buy a better truck than Ford. Ram.

Funny to read the comments since the biggest whiners are those that would not buy a Ford even with every test and shootout saying it was the best.

All this hype about aluminum repair when we have been doing it for years on hoods and fenders. The boxsides, door panels, roof skins will all be rivited or glued on just like we currently do with steel. So what is the big deal? Nothing. Just like when we switched to water-borne paint. Oh, that was going to cost $30k or more to get into just like the hype of repairing an aluminum truck is now. Fact is nothing much changed from oil based to water-borne and cost our shop like $1,500 a few years after it initially came out. Just calm down everyone, in a few years it will not even be a topic anymore, especially when GM will have there own aluminum trucks in 2018.

Worthwhile read

The reason the new F150 is a bust is not Aluminum, its the powertrains. They just don't have it, GM and RAM do.

The other fact that Furd lovers seem to forget that will all this Slimfast weight loss, the F150 only weighs 60 POUNDS LESS THAN THE STEEL GM SUPERIOR TRUCK!!!!

Now even if GM goes to Aluminum, how much weigh do you think it will lose?

Proof that Ford is inferior in engineering with Ecobusts, shortchanging Extended Cab and Regular buyers with dangerous pickup trucks, TOO CHEAP, to install safety measures on these trucks but if you spend the big bucks, oh then we will add the safety measures, all while charging a lot more per truck than the last steel f150, what a joke.

All ford cares about is profits at the risk of your family, buy the wrong truck and get into a min offset crash and you risk severe injury, that's built ford tough.

Here is the video if you need a reminder, my wrangler does better in this test and my wrangler can do this test DOORS OFF and the result is the same, see the wranglers doors come off and are not part of the structural integrity in front collisions, was built to have the doors off!

Built Ford Tough, too cheap too add 4 crash bars and a few bolts that probably cost 50 bucks in parts, ford cares, ford loves you!

Here are the numbers of the 2015 Ford F150 3.5 Ecoboost versus the winner of the Light Duty V8 Winner, Chevrolet Silverado 1500 6.2.

As you can see, the Chevrolet wins almost every test, you could say 8 speed vs 6 speed is an advantage for GM, as you could say Gears favor the Ford, along with slightly lighter and less payload, versus 100 pounds more trailering on the Davis Dam Run Only.

Chevrolet 54310
Gears 3,23
Weight 5620

0-60 5.92
0-60 loaded 7.09 1240 pounds
1/4 14.34
1/4 loaded 15.36 1240 pounds
Unloaded Chevy 6.2 19.8 MPG
Braking 60-0 133.7 unloaded
Trailering Chevy 6.2 10.2 MPG 6,700 pounds
Braking 60-0 132.2 loaded with 1240 pounds
Davis Dam 19.92 6,700-pound trailer

Ford F150 60880
Gears 3.55
Weight 5560

0-60 6.22
0-60 loaded 7.02 1080 pounds
1/4 14.84
1/4 15.50 loaded 1080 pounds
Unloaded 3.5 Eco boost 18.5
Braking 60-0 133.6 unloaded
Trailering 3.5 Ecoboost 11.1 4,200-pounds
Braking 60-0 135.3 with 1080 pounds
Davis Dam 20.76 6,800-pound trailer

@30yrs in a body shop
Please , provide your shop name and address, so New Aluminium F150 owners could avoid your shop for repair. If you say that nothing has changed for aluminium repair and you don't need dedicated tools and most importantly dedicated area to prevent aluminium from steel contamination, than nobody should get fixed any aluminium car in your shop.
Maybe that 30 years in body shop wasn't really fixing cars, but swiping the floor.

Pricier insurance for F-150.

"IIHS said it crashed a 2014 F-150 and a 2015 aluminum-bodied F-150 into each other at low speeds to simulate offset rear-end accidents. It said the tests caused more damage to the aluminum truck in both the front and the rear.

The cost to repair the front of the aluminum F-150 was $4,147, compared with $3,759 for the front of the steel truck. Fixing the rear of the aluminum truck was $4,738, vs. $3,275 for the steel truck.

Repair costs for the aluminum truck were 42 percent higher for parts and 22 percent higher for labor, IIHS said. In addition, one side of the aluminum truck's bed had to be replaced while the steel truck's bed needed only a repair.

You are correct regarding contamination that will cause dissimilar metals issues.

The body shop I was at had a separate area for aluminium work and even a fancy air extraction system to prevent contaminants moving around the shop.

He even has dedicated (and different) tools for the different materials.

His guys spent several months receiving Ford's special training.

The most useless thing is that they are using averages from small samples. Are you comparing apples to apples or apples to potatoes? There could be vast variation alone in the types of repairs on the 2015 versus the 2014 sample, so this is pretty meaningless. Lets see an apples to apples comparison of damage done in an identical collision and a 2014 F150 vs the 2015 F150, and then it might mean something. I can guarantee that most local body shops are not going to be certified to repair the new truck, so your only hopes are getting gouged by the dealership body shop, which often times offers inferior work.

Repairing these aluminum trucks is going to be MORE expensive not less expensive. And, for that 30 yrs in the business body shop guy. Well, body shops hate investing in new equipment and training. That eats into their profit margin.

When they have to invest in these things, you better believe the consumer will be paying for it with higher repair costs and higher insurance premiums.

Heck, a lot of these so called approved repair facilities don't even like investing in new paint booth filters. That's why when you bring your damaged vehicle in to get fixed, the repaired area typically looks like crap with a bunch of trash in the paint.

Don't worry though. They'll wet sand the thin finish down to a minimal layer ruining the factory like orange peel texture matching the other non repaired panels and ensuring the repaired finish fades and chips after a few years.

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