In case the aluminum-bodied vehicles on the highway today are a precise gauge, the 2015 Ford F-150 probably are often more expensive to repair than its steel-bodied predecessor.
Body shop owners say aluminum repair parts can be more expensive than steel parts. And because it often takes longer to correct an aluminum body, the labor costs usually are higher.
That has been the ability of any suburban Detroit chain of high-end body shops that auto paint santa ana ca, Porsche and BMW vehicles along with a Ny shop that handles Jaguar and Land Rover aluminum vehicles.
But Ford says that situation changes. In the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, the company told dealers the redesigned F-150 would not more costly to mend compared to current model.
Although aluminum repair parts might cost more, Ford said, they are made to be installed easily and quickly, which could reduce labor.
Insurance companies may have plenty of say as to what the repairs will cost.
“The fee to mend is dependent upon the insurer,” said Larry Smith, owner of Autometric Collision Inc. in suburban Detroit. “The good insurance carriers will tune in to us and take note of the manufacturer’s guidelines. The negative ones will discount precisely what the manufacturers say.”
As an example, if a piece of the metal body is bent more than a few millimeters, a manufacturer may require a substitute, while an insurance company would pressure our bodies look for a less expensive fix by straightening it, said Smith, whose company has nine shops in the Detroit area.
The shift to aluminum is going to be costly for Ford dealers in terms of the equipment they should buy and the training technicians must take. To help you, Ford is offering dealerships a twenty percent discount on equipment and training through October.
But Smith says utilizing aluminum is not any more difficult than working with steel; it’s just different. He stated when a body shop technician is ready to accept change and contains the correct training, she or he can adjust to aluminum.
Land Rover, the latest automaker to switch from steel to aluminum, requires body shop personnel taking care of the aluminum-bodied Range Rover to pass a comprehensive training program. Some dealers send their body shop employees, while dealers who don’t get their own body shops must be sure that the body shops they send their clientele to are trained.
Ford dealers will use a body shop training program run from the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, exactly like Land Rover.
“We have a one-week Jaguar-Land Rover intensive welding, riveting and bonding class held in the I-CAR training headquarters in Appleton, Wis.,” said Land Rover spokesman Wayne York Kung. “[Dealer body] shops are needed to have at the least two structural techs on staff.
“We require that repairs performed on all-aluminum vehicles be separated, and in numerous cases the certified shop actually includes a separate building where they actually do these repairs.”
Smith said he spent about $50,000 to teach two employees to correct the newest aluminum Porsche 911 sports car. “I won’t live for enough time to recoup that,” he said. It costs about $20,000 each to send out technicians to Mercedes-Benz to learn to fix that company’s vehicles.
Ford dealers might recoup their costs quickly as a result of F-150’s high volume. More than 500,000 F-150s were bought from 2013.
Land Rover dealer Michael Levitan’s three stores on Long Island in Ny don’t have body shops. Instead, Levitan works with a local independent collision repair center, Supreme Auto Collision, 06dexkpky Lindenhurst, N.Y., that has completed Land Rover’s dealer training course. Levitan says there have been no difficulties with having aluminum-bodied Range Rovers properly repaired.
Glenn Berman, owner of Supreme Auto Collision, said people who own aluminum-bodied vehicles pay more for repairs. He said the replacement parts of the body cost more and the labor prices are higher because aluminum repairs take longer than fixing a steel-bodied vehicle.
Another factor driving up the price: While steel aftermarket parts are widely accessible, really the only aluminum replacements currently available range from vehicle manufacturers.
“When something [over a steel-bodied vehicle] gets bent, it is possible to pull it and straighten it,” Berman said. “With an aluminum vehicle, the factory wants you to take away the entire piece and replace everything.”
He stated insurance providers often pressure him to deviate from factory repair procedures to cut costs.