At Price’s Collision, we receive almost daily calls from owners of the Ford F-150’s latest, 2015 version because we are one of the few auto body repair centers in the Tennessee and Kentucky area that has the right equipment and special skill-set required to work on the model.
Because owners of the Ford F-150 are often so confused about why their truck is not as easily fixable as any other car, we decided to clarify the downside of owning the fantastic F-150 truck – in case you are ever involved in an accident with it.
If you own a Ford F-150 pick-up truck, then you probably know and love the fact that you’ve chosen the most popular vehicle of all time. For over 30 years, the F-150 has been the best-selling car in the United States.
If yours is the 13th generation Ford F-150 (2015), then your vehicle comes with yet another distinction – aluminum construction. The use of aluminum in the 2015 iteration has reduced curb weight of the model by approximately 700 pounds!
Replacing steel parts with aluminum is a light-weight, impact-resistant solution that helps vehicles to be manufactured for a specific emissions class. (Luxury cars like Jaguar, Ashton Martin and Audi, for example, are also wearing a lot of aluminum.)
But steel is the still the norm. Auto collision centers are all equipped to fix broken cars with a steel infrastructure, so if you bring in a damaged Ford F-150 in the new aluminum version, you may be in for a rude surprise.
For one thing, all collision repair shops in the United States are not prepared to work with aluminum bodies – yet. As there are so few aluminum models in circulation, the demand has not reached such a tipping point that they need to invest in the equipment and experience required to fix them.
Which puts you, the owner of an aluminum body F-150, in a problem situation if you ever get involved in an auto collision that sustains body damage.
For one, you have to find a collision repair shop that has the experience and wherewithal to handle aluminum. And second, the repair is going to be more expensive.
UNLIKE STEEL, ALUMINUM DOES NOT HAVE `METAL MEMORY’
• When a steel body has sustained dents and damage, it can be re-shaped back to its original form a lot more easily than aluminum. That is because aluminum does not have metal memory. It does not `remember’ it’s pre collision state and needs high technical experience and specialized equipment, like an aluminum dent pulling station, to do the job flawlessly.
ALUMINUM DOES NOT REACT TO HEAT THE SAME WAY THAT STEEL DOES
• Aluminum conducts much more heat than steel. This makes welding aluminum parts a lot harder because the heat is travelling through the metal so much faster.
Since excess heat will affect the strength of the metal, a badly done welding job will compromise the vehicle’s security status and raise safety concerns if the body is damaged again.
Many parts of the Ford F-150 are not joined by welds but by special rivets and adhesives. Working with these parts needs unique tools that are not used in traditional collision repairs.
At Price’s Collision, our technicians are specially trained to handle constraints that come with the aluminum repair territory, and we take every care to ensure that the integrity of the vehicle is not compromised in any way.
ALUMINUM AND STEEL ARE A DANGEROUS COMBINATION
• Aluminum and steel, in their unfinished state, are corrosive to each other. For example, if shavings or even dust from one metal comes in contact with a body part of another, the corrosion impact that be pretty instantaneous.
Our technicians at Price’s Collision use completely separate sets of tools when working with an aluminum car like the Ford F-150 because we are always on alert for the possibility of metal contamination and corrosion.
PRICE’S COLLISON IS AN ALUMINUM-READY REPAIR SHOP
• If you’re living in the Tennessee/Kentucky area, hold onto our contact information if you or a friend or a family member owns the latest version of the popular Ford F-150.
Our expert staff will be happy to take care of you in any of our 10 locations: