2015 Ford F-150 Repairs: Digging Deeper


Editor's note: This post was updated on Jan. 30, 2015, to include additional information.

What happens when you take a sledgehammer to the rear quarter of the bed of a brand-new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150? Pretty much the same thing that happens to a "normal" pickup truck — it costs a boatload of money to fix.

According to USA Today, consumer advice website intentionally damaged a 2015 F-150 to find out the cost of repairs. What the testers didn't do, according to, was compare the cost of repairing a similarly damage to a 2014 model of the same trim and configuration, so there's no way to make a direct comparison.

The concern, of course, is that the cost of a bed repair for an aluminum-bodied pickup will be much higher than a comparably damaged steel-bodied truck. On the surface this seems to make sense given that repair shops — both private and dealer shops — have invested tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade their service and paint departments, as well as pay for the required extra Ford certification for the new pickups. Some of the biggest news to come out of this exercise was that there could be a huge difference in hourly repair rates at some shops, in some cases varying by 100 percent ($60 an hour up to $120 an hour).

Another factor that added to the total repair costs was collateral damage done to a rear taillight, which required complete replacement. Since it was the Lariat trim package and equipped with the Blind Spot Information System (that is used for cross-traffic alert and park assist), the radar-equipped taillight added almost $1,000 to the bill, with the total adding up to just less than $3,000.

We took an unscientific survey of several Southern California repair shops — both private and Ford dealer service centers — and found a pretty wide spread between hourly body panel repair quotes. Naturally, total costs would depend on the extent of the damage, but hourly rates for steel bodies ranged from $45 an hour to $60 an hour, while aluminum rates were always more, especially at dealerships (the highest we found was $90 an hour). Some of the smaller shops told us they didn't distinguish between the two body materials. The bottom line here is that it might be too early to tell where aluminum F-150 repair costs will settle.

Ford representatives say that the front-end and cab of the new 2015 F-150 were completely redesigned and engineered to make access to damaged parts much easier (remember, many of the new modular pieces are connected with adhesives and rivets), making overall costs to replace those parts less expensive, and any impact damage to the back end of the rear-bed panel is probably less than 1 percent of all severe incidents.

Fluctuating hourly repair costs aside, provided a quick parts comparison list (see below) of some of the major body parts of a 2014 versus a 2015 Ford F-150. With the exception of the doors, pricing between the two models is pretty close. images by Mark Williams




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