By on December 4, 2014

aluminum

Planning to buy a new 2015 Ford F-150 soon? You might be purchasing a dent-and-ding policy for your ride, too.

Automotive News reports the aluminum pickup has created an opportunity for F&I departments to sell dent-and-ding polices, playing on the notion that the metal isn’t as tough as steel when it comes to such things. Ford begs to differ, as the F-150’s “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body is more dent and ding resistant” than the outgoing steel-paneled model, per representative Mike Levine.

However, the increased use of aluminum would mean those polices would cost a pretty penny. EFG Cos. executive vice president Cliff Eller says repairing the panels with paintless dent removal would be more labor-intensive and time-consuming than doing the same for steel panels, with the aforementioned increase likely to push the cost of an average claim upward.

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142 Comments on “Aluminum Mainstreaming May Mean More Dent & Ding Policies...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    How much would such a policy add to such a truck? That information would be helpful here, in averaged numbers. I have never even considered getting such a policy rider for any of my cars.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Also, so far while typing this, I’ve still got the autoplay video ads going on. One of which was for a fashion show, which is slightly embarrassing. The other was for Jergens lotion, the camera spinning around a naked woman, which is unacceptable at work.

    You all have to get rid of these.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body is more dent and ding resistant”. Tell that to the world’s navies who backed away from the use of aluminium in exposed areas after a number of disasters in the 70’s and 80’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Josh_Howard

      This is a joke, right? The metals we are using now are far superior to anything from the 70s and 80s in mass produced items. I attempted to dent the display door at the auto show for the F-150 and was unsuccessful. They WANTED you to see it was durable. I didn’t even go the first day… this was days after the autoshow opened and the door remained undented. The truck will be fine and the Aluminum alloy will be fine. Cars have been using it for well over a decade with zero issues. It all depends on what alloy you choose. From my first hand experience, it feels lighter than steel by a large amount. It also resists denting far better. Remember, it’s the end of 2014… science and design has progressed. We aren’t living in an iron age.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Perhaps someone with an 04+ Jaguar XJ can speak to dents. Especially since XJs are the kind of car which jealous people like to dent intentionally.

        I had a D2 A8L, but I am not certain if the exterior panels were aluminum.

        • 0 avatar
          Advance_92

          WRXs from 02-2007 (not sure about the later ones) had aluminium hoods. Mine’s ten years old and only has one dent. A *lot* of little paint chips, which is a Subaru specialty, but at least I don’t have to worry about it rusting…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Or do you, Advance? Rust on aluminum doesn’t look like rust on steel. It may not be as unsightly, but it still can do the same damage over time.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Aluminum doesn’t rust the same as steel. Actually al doesn’t rust at all. It corrodes. And it’s not cancerous corrosion like rusting steel. More of a surface crust that protects the aluminum beneath it.

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Same with the 05-14 Mustangs, all had aluminum hoods. It took a suicidal squirrel jumping onto an old rotted tree branch to really dent my hood, and the paint chips aren’t just a Subaru thing. Ford also invested in that tech as well.

            The 15+ Mustang now comes with aluminum fenders as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Sorry Denver, wrong again.

            Rust is corrosion on steel. It has a reddish color and eats away at the metal until it all becomes essentially iron oxide.

            That white powder is corrosion on Aluminum (also seen on other metals). It is white in color and eats away at the metal until it all becomes essentially aluminum oxide. It is cancerous. It can and will blister and the metal beneath is NOT protected by it. Corrosion prevention is one of the main inspection and repair items during aircraft inspections. Aircraft HAVE been taken out of service if the corrosion cannot be stopped.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – Yes. You win. They both corrode.

            Still, there’s absolutely no comparison. By the time the aluminum car has a little cosmetic corrosion, with the same exposure, the steel car was declared unsafe and gone for 10 or 20 years.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            While I don’t remember the specific tail number, I personally worked on an F-15 that was less than five years old and taken out of service–declared unflyable–due to corrosion in the equipment bay caused by salt water. That plane eventually made it to one of the Air Force’s tech schools where it lived out its life as a weapons load trainer–never to fly again.

            Don’t even TRY to tell me aluminum doesn’t corrode like steel. It may look different, but the effects are just as catastrophic.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – No if the F-150 flew in ocean wash at Mach II, subject to 10g’s and didn’t have a ladder frame for the cabin, it’d be reasonable for it be declared unfit for flight from a tiny bit of salt corrosion too.

            See I can be silly too!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Your A8 did have aluminum panels.

          This is all a bunch of FUD by bottom-feeding scum suckers, as already pointed out.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well in that case, the one dent I did get (driver’s side front door, dime sized deep ding from shopping cart) cost $1200 to fix. Required a new door skin and a repaint of the door and fender (I could still tell it had been repainted afterward).

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        6000 series alloys weren’t anything new in the 70s and 80s let alone now. Metallurgy doesn’t change that fast anymore. For something as simple and cheap as a truck body it doesn’t change at all anymore, other than a little bit more consistency and economy in the production process it hasn’t changed in 50 years. We’re not talking monocrystalline turbine blades here.

        • 0 avatar
          Josh_Howard

          They’re far more consistent and easier to use. Sure, they’re technically the same series of alloy… what’s changed is that you can get it in a light duty truck instead of an expensive whatever. They use insane alloys and materials in very inexpensive r/c racecars now. Everything’s changing. And, I think that’s a good thing.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “6000 series alloys” and big words like “metallurgy” that require way more work to understand than, “military grade RAWWWRRRRR!!”

          Speaking of which, I guess this “military grade” tripe will annoy the “professional grade” marketing people over at GMC.

          Anyhoo, it’s a good choice of aluminum for a pickup truck body.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            I’ve never understood how “military grade” or “milspec” became selling points. Milspec means two things.

            1. Specification by bureaucratic committee three or four degrees removed from ever using the product. Typically set in stone before the first copy existed let alone had time for its flaws to become apparent.

            2. Assembly by the lowest bidder. If that bid is so low it means missing some or all of the specs, even better.

          • 0 avatar

            “Military grade” should be a thing to run away from, but the general public has a perception of it. Frankly the engineering terms (and an understanding of their basic meaning) is far more impressive on this truck, but as has been said, knowledge doesn’t really sell as well as catch phrases.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      The crew of the HMS Sheffield would agree with you.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Sheffield_%28D80%29

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        The HMS Sheffield (Type 42 destroyer sunk in the Falklands war) had a steel hull and steel superstructure, not aluminum. All this was pretty well cleared up in the mainstream press, um, about thirty-two years ago ;)

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Tell that to the crew of the USS Belknap.

          My old man fell for ‘new technology’ and put up an aluminium fence a couple of decades ago.

          Dented and bent like crazy. Had to replace it with good old fashioned wood.

        • 0 avatar
          Zackman

          I stand corrected – never read that. I retract my previous comment. Should have checked first.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            HMS Antelope and HMS Ardent did both have aluminium superstructures. It was debated whether this was instrumental in their destruction.

            What is certain is that the resulting fire was harder to extinguish than if they had steel superstructures. And both the British and US Navies discontinued the use of aluminium in their ships’ superstructures.

            As someone noted the chance of an F-150 being struck by an Exocet is slim.

            However if Ford truly put together a world class pick-up, something able to compete with the Hilux in durability and dependability then surely it would get international use as a ‘technical’ and eventually be subject to all kinds of RPG fire.

            I would like to thank other posters, as I have learned a considerable amount from this thread. Never underestimate the collective intelligence of the TTAC crowd!

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            The HMS Antelope and HMS Ardent did have aluminium superstructures. The resulting fire was much harder to extinguish than had they been constructed from steel.

            Perhaps not the main cause of their loss but the U.S. and British navies no longer use aluminium construction.

            If Ford wanted to manufacture a truly world class pick-up regarding ruggedness and durability, then it would immediately be put to use as a ‘technical’. Something the Toyota Hilux excels at. That would of course eventually expose it to small arms fire and RPG’s.

            Hats off to the TTAC crowd for some illuminating posts regarding this subject. I have learned a considerable amount.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The new F Series is “milspec.”

      /s/

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The American navy used aircraft grade titanium-aluminum-vanadium in a ship’s superstructure to save weight. The problem with it was that it burned when hit with armor-piercing shells and was nearly impossible to put out the fire with conventional fire fighting equipment aboard ships.

      All those ships, mostly Spruance class destroyers, were retired early and scrapped. The Navy is now sorry it scrapped the Spruances, since it would have been far cheaper to replace the superstructure and upgrade electronics and armaments than the solution chosen: replacing them with $1 billion a copy Arleigh Burke destroyers.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Lorenzo, the material specification for that NAVY aluminum was different from aircraft grade, as it had to allow for electricity flowing through the hull that was in constant contact with an “earth ground”, the water.

        Naval electrical circuits are different than those on dry land, but the aluminum became a sacrificial metal under those circumstances.

        It was just too expensive to strategically place copper and zinc anodes around the hull to keep the aluminum from being eaten away. Hence the boats were scrapped and the aluminum is currently being recycled by contractors, just like the aircraft aluminum from Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, AZ.

        Quite an operation, both, and very little is lost or wasted.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      As a former Sailor, I am reasonably confident that the movement away from Aluminum had mmore to do with the attack on the Stark than denting issues. The Navy was concerned with how the Stark reacted after it was struck by missiles. Aluminum begins to lose strength at a lower tempruature than Steel (like 500 degrees versus 2000 or something to that effect). On a combat vessel this is a significant concern. On my pick up, not so much. Additionnally I would submit that issues with cracking had a lot more to do with the fact the Perry Class Frigates were developed at the height of the “hollow force” years following Vietnam and were victims of severe costcutting. Even so, many have now been at sea for over 30 years now I think it’ll do fine on your F-150 King Ranch.

      Incidentally, the issues with the LCS ships would be more concerning, that being severe corosion where the steel and aluminum join, but even winter in PA has nothing on sitting in the Pacific 24-7 so I would still be comfortable purchasing the truck.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Arthur Dailey – I find it highly unlikely that a F150 will get hit by an Exocet missile.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Perhaps not an anti shipping missile such as the Exocet, but I could see ISIS captured Super Duties or F150s being hit with a Hellfire in the near future.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “EFG Cos. executive vice president Cliff Eller says repairing the panels with paintless dent removal would be more labor-intensive and time-consuming than doing the same for steel panels,”

    I was going to say the same thing. PDR on aluminum panels is more of a PITA. it doesn’t have the same memory as steel and getting the same results is more difficult.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Shouldn’t the headline be “Insurance companies hope to cash-in on aluminum FUD”?

    Before anyone asks, FUD is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Sir, do you have a “dent and ding” rider for your policy? That’s a dirty shame.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      I fully agree with this one. But whether it’s FUD or not, too many people simply don’t know and won’t know for a few years; it’s a perfect opportunity for the insurance companies to increase profits.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @heavy handle – looks like Motor Trend has already went down the F.U.D. path.

      They cited uncertainty over aluminum repair as a reason to chose the Ram Ecodiesel over the 2.7 EB F150.
      That is interesting considering the Ram Ecodiesel MotorTrend was driving had to go to the dealer a few times for warranty repairs.

      So if everyone knows a truck will have problems i.e. FCA poor reliability that is better than the unknown?

  • avatar
    turf3

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the aluminum body panels are more resistant to minor dents than the steel ones they replace.

    Ford referring to the aluminum as “military-grade” is just stupid. Marketeers at work again.

    I also would not be at all surprised to find auto dealers (bottom feeders that they are) trying to add “dent and ding” insurance to the scotchgard interior treatments, door edge guards, and extended warranty scams, using the general public’s total ignorance of anything technical to hype the supposed “tenderness” of those Al panels. Nor would I be surprised to see insurance companies (bottom feeders that they are) doing the exact same thing. After all, these are the people who in the 70s defined a Chevy station wagon with three-on-the-tree shifting as a sports car, because any car with a V8 and a standard transmission must be a sports car, right?

    As far as getting away from the use of Al in marine construction, when an automaker builds a car of monocoque construction intended to be immersed in seawater 24/7 and uses Al, I will be concerned; not till then.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      The last three cars I’ve purchased the dealer “presented” dent and ding insurance. It’s not new. Yes, I agree likely packaged differently now.

    • 0 avatar
      GMat

      The other day my 14yr old asked me why I called the non-automatic transmission “Standards”
      Made me think…
      Guess it comes from my father’s use of the term, as well as, the fact that I am old enough to remember when all imports and many American manufacturers provided manual transitions as a standard, with autos a more expensive option.
      What is your take on this often used term?

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        I know, it’s weird terminology in a world where auto transmissions come as the default on almost everything. But continuing to call the manual transmission “standard” is just my little way of reminding myself that today’s over-automated, excessively cushed-out, unrepairable, disposable vehicles were not always the case. (I know no one else in the U$ cares.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          On the bright side, a “standard” transmission is one of the better anti-theft devices, since most car thieves can’t drive a stick. They’ll damage your door/lock and mess up your dash electrical by hot-wiring the car before they give up on driving it away, though.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          On the bright s*de, a “standard” transmission is one of the better anti-theft devices, since most car thieves can’t drive a stick. They’ll damage your door/lock and mess up your dash electrical by hot-wiring the car before they give up on driving it away, though.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      And there is a requirement for said vehicle to keep the passengers from having to jump in to the open ocean should it catch on fire. There are a lot of reasons other than dent resistance that the Navy moved back to steel…37 of them from the Stark alone.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I have never had any success with paintless dent removal. It is completely worthless unless the ding is just so. If you get a ding that this service can fix it’s like winning the lottery. Usually the body shop needs to do massive work to fix them. I just try to be careful where I park. Unfortunately, most Americans are too fat and lazy to walk so they park in the closest possible space, which is where they’re likely to get dinged.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’m careful where I park too. I’ll pass up spaces if there are badly parked cars, or cars which look like they probably contain children. I also park in areas of the lot which have less turnover. End spaces wherever possible! Never next to cart corral!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Plastic panels are immune to car-door dings and shopping carts. My old ’02 Saturn Vue still looks almost as good as new on the outside despite weather and shopping-center incidents. Sure, the paint’s chipped a bit here and there, but the panels are otherwise undamaged. Can’t say the same for the thin metal tailgate where my father-in-law backed into a tree stump.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I thought the Saturn plastic panels had the color built in. Are you sure it isn’t the plastic panel itself that’s chipped?

          I can see steel or aluminum panels on a work truck, but for cars, it seems that plastic panels are the way to go, unless they weigh more than the “sheet metal” that’s normally used.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I managed to scrape a fender on a post one time. While there is a layer of color, underneath that is plain black plastic.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I buy my cars pre-dinged so I don’t have to worry about adding new ones.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      The Verano had an excessive amount of small dings from a hail storm that blew through. 7k in PDR later, it looks pretty darn good. Glad my insurance covered it though.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @dave

        7K? Canada be expensive, yo. I got the front third of my whip repainted for $500 after excessive rock damage by the previous owner. He’d probably do the whole car for $1500.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          I guess PDR is very time intensive?

          The hood, roof, trunk lid, quarter panels, A and C pillars all needed ironing. The count of individual dings needing smoothing was 4 figures.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not a bodyman so I don’t know how intensive the process is to properly correct hail damage, but 7K still seems excessive. I realize you have the unobtainium edition, but US valuation of a used MY13 auto Verano might be $18K, so that’s over 35% give or take of the car’s value in PDR?

            EDIT:
            -Premium trim MY13 Verano does 17-19,5 with <20K in CY2014.
            -Convenience trim does 10-12 with 50K avg otc, one did 14,4 with <20K.
            -Leather trim does 13,2-15,4 <20K otc, 11,3-14,2 20-50K otc.

            I think we have a new runner up to the MY12 Lincoln Zephyr for the 28CL value buy of the year.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        7k in PDR on one car? I feel bad that your insurance co fell for that.

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          Ha, it was the shop they told me to go to!

          Either way, I paid my $250, and the car looks decent. I’m happy.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Crazy, I’ve done entire cars for less than half that. The idea of PDR is to generally save money over painting.

            I suppose it is Calgary where people with skills can charge and get whatever they want.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Are you happy with transmission yet?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            No Corey, I am not.

            Truth be told, if I was given the option to give the car back tomorrow with 0<penalty<1 lease payment, I would. The annoying is outweighing the good.

            Major annoyances
            Transmission still sucks. Noisy and notchy
            Engine has 2 weird issues:
            1) coughs and splutters at idle when cold when the air temp is between -5 and 5 Celsius. (ECU flash needed?)
            2)weird bucking/hesitation under certain types of acceleration. (ECU flash needed?)
            Death star sized turning radius.
            Headlights aren't great (not looking forward to overnight drive to Winnipeg this Christmas)
            Temp Mix control is beyond annoying, either freezing or boiling.
            Its been tripping CELs of late (its going to the dealership for an Oil Change right away, will continue to harp on trans and also get this looked at)
            Getting warning lights when plowing through drifts.
            Even if you disable StabiliTrack it still kicks in.
            Weak compression braking.

            Minor annoyances
            lack of trunk lid located release button
            wipers always chattering (not sure if cheap OEM blades or just bad geometry)
            washer jets easily blocked by snow due to under bonnet edge location
            Short run time on rear defrost (just give me a two position switch please)
            Why no heated mirrors?

            The good:
            Winter beast on its Nokians.
            I like the way it drives when its not acting like a Jalopy.
            Comfortable, extremely quiet, and I really like the interior and IntelliLink.
            28 usmpg lifetime over 11500 miles.

            Summary:
            Its a smooth, comfortable car. However, unfix-able issues like the turning circle, mix control and just average headlight performance really ruin it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Wow, that really sucks! You were all excited about it before.

            RE: The defrost, I thought the norm was that it stayed on as long as you wanted, and you had to turn it off. GM only allows short time?

            Rather than ECU, given the CEL lights and hesitations you may have a faulty MAF/MAP?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Those transmission issues, are they specific to the manual or are they somehow endemic to the auto Verano as well?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @28
            My transmission makes grindy release bearing noises as the clutch is engaged, and the stick tends to need to be jammed or worked into first and second, so I am pretty sure its all MT related.

            Also, the transmission is just noisy. Reminds me of my 87 S15 with Iron Duke and 4MT. This is NOT a compliment, GM!

            @ Corey
            I was excited, for sure, but I guess some things can only be discovered in a “long term review”, ie living with the car.

            This seems to be a GM thing, the Alero also had a fixed run time for the rear defrost, though it was longer.

            As far as the CELs, poor engine running, and general transmission malaise, I don’t even want to speculate. The fr!cken service department should be fixing this. Its ridiculous already. I’ve was in the shop at 280 kms on the odo complaining of trans issues (and actually prevented a catastrophic failure with my…obsessive attention to detail, lets say) and at 18,500 kms, I am still twisting in the wind.

            Not gonna lie (sorry Mikey!) but I definitely feel the fool for giving GM my business.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “My transmission makes grindy release bearing noises as the clutch is engaged, and the stick tends to need to be jammed or worked into first and second, so I am pretty sure its all MT related.”

            The grindy noises are probably that bearing. It might make this noise for a long long time before it finally breaks, or maybe not a long time.

            If the stick is tough to push into the different gear positions then the clutch may not be completely disengaging. This might be as easy as a free-play adjustment (if your car is adjustable for that) or just a lot of wear and tear.

            You might want to do, uh, some preventative maintenance. A stitch in time saves nine, or a dollar in time…

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            @ Jim

            What preventative maintenance would you suggest I do? I keep bringing it to GM dealers and telling them whats wrong and they tell me “we don’t know whats wrong or how to fix it, sorry.” Their brilliant idea was to replace the gear box but re use all related parts and then act all confused when it wasn’t the cure.

            My favorite was “can you take our shop foreman on a test drive, he can’t drive a stick.”

            The car is a 2014 with 18500 kms on the clock, and has been exhibiting these issues since my third day with it (280 kms on the clock). If its a “wear and tear” issue it was worn and torn in the factory. I’ve also kept service records and my own notes showing that I was asking after this problem within the first week of ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      baggins

      A few years back, an elderly neighbor backed into the door of my nearly new Accord. Dent was the size of a small dinner plate, but not that deep.

      I found a paintless dent “artist”. He worked for no kidding 3.5 hours on it. Absoultely cannot tell the dent was ever there. Cost 500 bucks. Neighbor paid.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    I bought a new Honda last June. The buying experience was agreeable until the end of the process when I had to meet with the F&I guy. He worked very hard to sell me a third party extended warranty and ding and dent policy for $2K. I told him that I was more likely to get hit by a meteor in his office than buying any extended warranty especially a third party one. Not deterred, he kept prattling on about the “value” of this dreck. I interpreted his use of the word value to mean “profit” for the dealership. After 20 minutes, his primitive reptilian brain started to realize that I wasn’t buying into his FUD pitch.
    So he went on to the ding and dent policy. It actually only covered damages that could be fixed by paintless repairs. Previously, I had been told by a reputable body shop that only 10-20% of dings qualified for paintless repairs so I rejected this bogus offer too.
    I wonder how many customers fall for this crap?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Sometimes it just takes a while for the word “No” to percolate through their brains. But then, it’s in these add-ons that salespeople make most of their commissions, so if they’re going hungry, they’ll push that much harder for any little extra they can manage.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      My wife bought a CPO BMW last summer. They wanted to sell her a dent and ding policy for $864, which supposedly would be good for the “lifetime” of the car. Close reading of the fine print showed that “lifetime” meant 2 years from the purchase date or 100,000 total vehicle miles. It was an easy pass.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      When someone tries to sell me an extended warranty on anything, I just tell them all the money I save by not buying extended warranties I use to fix things when they break. Works pretty good.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        This. I do this too and they are never able to formulate a cogent argument.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGrieves

        The additional scare tactic they use is to make you initial a form that says you were offered the policy and declined it. The form is filled with tons of legalese and makes it look like you are signing over your first born. Some are intimidated by this.

        Kind of like at rental car counters when they try to sell you various coverages on your rental… you say you are not interested and the paperwork starts coming out.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Felix, I had a similar experience with a Honda dealer in August. The out-the-door price negotiations were fast and painless until the F&I person got involved. Wasted a good chunk of an hour trying to upsell me on dealer extra profit service packages while they were “preparing” the car. They didn’t much appreciate my comment that a good car never has to come back to the dealership unless the manufacturer screwed up something. The wasted time forced me to drive home in rush hour traffic.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Dealer F&I guy: “Sir would you like to buy a ‘dent & ding’ policy for your new F-150?”

    Me: “Why would I want to do that?”

    Dealer F&I guy: “Well that would cover you if your truck gets a dent or ding.”

    Me: “Why would I have to worry about that any differently from any other vehicle?”

    Dealer F&I guy: “The new F-150 is made of aluminium and could be more susceptible to dents and dings.”

    Me: “Oh WOW! I wasn’t aware of that.”

    Dealer F&I guy: “So let me just check the box that you want ‘dent & di……”

    Me (interrupting): “No, you misunderstand. You’ve totally changed my mind. I’m going out to buy a Dodge Ram. Thanks for the heads up on dents & dings.”

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    A Trunk Monkey is cheaper and you always have a little pal.

    “OK, Eric, watch the car till I get back. Then ice cream!”

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    Almost all of the issues I’ve had with dents have been because the particular model didn’t incorporate a moulding strip (door guard) down the middle from the factory to protect the car.

    I know it may seem like a silly detail, but when a car doesn’t come like that from the factory, it really is a big negative in my book. I had a car that was nothing but smooth sheet metal, and it was incredible how many dents it collected in a short amount of time.

    A car covered in dents looks AWFUL, and people in this day and age could care less about other people’s property.

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Hello, Honda. $300 for a measly 1″ strip on my sister’s Fit, but who wants to take the risk on a new car of cobbling some aftermarket piece on?

      I doubt other manufacturers are any different, though. Like you say, it’s a crying need in that spot so they make you pay extra for it.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        I’ve never put an aftermarket strip on a car, I would prefer it simply be a design element incorporated from the factory, but I would gladly pay the $300 at a dealership if it was done right with the factory paint color.

        The frustration of parking out in BFE and explaining it to my wife would make that price a bargain.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          The Honda strip is done very well by the dealership and looks 100% factory.

          But it’s still the gratuitous little nick out of your hide that reminds you nobody in this game has any gentility left. Too competitive.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            When auto makers jerk the dealers around, they have to make it up with add-ons. You’re just next in line, because they know they’ll never see you again when the warranty is up.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Not mad at my dealer, my family has bought I think 7 new vehicles there under the same management. Always treated exceptionally well.

            It’s just the fact that a nice little manufacturer’s courtesy touch common 8-10 years ago is gone.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      Ha! I remember those. My first car, a ’91 Civic, had that. I regret to say that I don’t think anyone has those anymore. At least not from factory.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      In Korea, you’ll see cars (both owned and taxis) driving with little blue foam bits glued to all the door edges to prevent dings. They look like someone chopped one of those kids foam bath blocks in half and stuck it on there. They stay for the life of the car. It looks absolutely ridiculous.

      Here we are:
      http://sociorocketnewsen.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/pict5956.jpg?w=580&h=435

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        I first noticed this while riding the bus from the airport and I assumed they were brand new cars being driven between dealers or something. It was just so odd. Then I started seeing them all over the place on cars that were obviously not new. It is ridiculous and I would never do that to my car.
        However I would think it great if someone did that to the cars parked on either side of them in a parking lot. Especially if it’s a CUV next to you.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        Holy crap… they stick those on the paint? I think I’d rather have a ding.

        You know, your having spent time in Korea is a real asset for this site.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Why thank you. I was sure to pay attention to car things while I was there, as it was the first foreign market I had been exposed to for any considerable length of time.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Reminds me a bit of some ’90s GM cars that were shipped with round black inserts in the door gaps, and half the time dealers would just leave ’em on.

      • 0 avatar
        wolfinator

        I too have seen this Korean tragedy, during a brief stay there. It seemed particularly popular on expensive Hyundais?

        In a culture obsessed with appearances, I can not grok how they settled on such an incredibly tacky solution…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      I’ve put my own after-market rub strips on several cars. It’s not difficult, just requires patience and a very clean surface.

      1. Buy rub strips that come close to car color, or just black w/chrome edging, depending on taste.

      2. Use Blue painter’s tape to be a guide where you want the strip to be applied.

      3. Measure & cut the lengths needed, allowing for open door clearance.

      4. Carefully apply.

      Every application I’ve done looks like it “belonged” there.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I actually removed the strips on my Mazda3. I prefer the cleaner look. Before removal, I did check it against the doors of a few different vehicles and found that the strip doesn’t provide much protection anyway. With the way they’re curved, there’s a very small contact area, and none happened to line up with my door strips.

      That was several years ago and I still don’t have a single dent because I avoid parking among the riff-raff.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        That sounds like work. I removed factory graphics from one of my trucks, all day with a heat gun and then acetone and then wash & wax.
        But well worth it so I appreciate your point.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Any reason why Ford can’t sell the aluminum panels unpainted? That’s how most alu boats are sold above the water line. And RR charge extra for the look on their high zoot cars, so it can’t look that downmarket.

    As far as ding resistance goes, in the kind of thin sheets a truck will use, I’ll be surprised if Ford is not right and alu will be more dent resistant than steel, simply because lower weight allows for thicker sheet. At least that’s how it plays out in boats.

    Abrasion resistance is better for steel, although I’m not sure if that really matters much on a painted truck, that isn’t subject to sinking fears if a panel is catastrophically abraded though.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Unpainted panels would need periodic polishing, or start to look dull, milky, or even corrode. They could clear-coat them, but that’ll start to yellow, over time. But there’s nothing stopping an owner from stripping the paint and polishing.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    If everyone has all of these “dent and ding” policies, how come I see so many dented and dinged cars everywhere. I think most people gripe about dings, but don’t really fix them. I know my insurance was always to park way the hell at the back of the parking lot until it gets that first ding or scratch.

    I agree, this is a bunch of the aforementioned F.U.D. Most dings never get fixed anyway. Certainly not on a effing truck.

  • avatar
    George B

    Didn’t Ford already use aluminum for the hood on the F-150? A paintless dent removal company told me that it was easier to remove hail dents from the aluminum hoods than the previous steel ones.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      They’ve been using aluminum hoods since the ’97 models and 99% of owners couldn’t tell the difference and/or don’t care.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      There’s a video on youtube of this body man heating, stretching and pounding out, a totally crumpled aluminum quarter panel on an original Cobra. Polished it perfect and brushed on the natural grain. That’s not possible with steel. Bondo/filler would be a must.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A MIL-SPEC is common in the defence world. It isn’t as if a MIL-SPEC makes a material any better than when outside of defence. A MIL-SPEC just denotes a standard for the military. All fuels and lubs have a MIL-SPEC, they aren’t any different than what is used by civilian operations.

    It’s kind of odd how Ford is using the term military grade aluminium in describing the aluminium F-150. It’s basically a cheap and crappy way to sell. Marketiing to the masses using language that isn’t sincere, but yet not lying.

    Most any modern aircraft uses a 6000 series alloy, even developing nations have the capacity to fabricate using 6000 Series aluminium, it isn’t new and has been around for multiple decades, prior to WWII.

    Like I stated high strength steels will give very good weight reductions as well.

    The comment that aluminium doesn’t corrode like steel is quite accurate. The people who don’t have a clue on what they are discussing should not pass on their information as “Gospel”. So if I would most of the “recommnedations” on this or any blog as incorrect and research you data yourself.

    Aluminium and steel do corrode the same. In all instances both materials revert back to their natural state. It’s called oxidisation.

    Here’s an article of the materials used in the Colorado.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/03/20140317-colorado.html

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      About twenty years ago, I think it was proponents from the steel industry that began to advertize the new, “lightweight steel” and how it would make cars better, make quality of life better, etc. Aside from lamentations about the downfall of public education, this slogan too was pretty dumb advertizing.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A MIL-SPEC is common in the defence world. It isn’t as if a MIL-SPEC makes a material any better than when outside of defence. A MIL-SPEC just denotes a standard for the military. All fuels and lubs have a MIL-SPEC, they aren’t any different than what is used by civilian operations.

    It’s kind of odd how Ford is using the term military grade aluminium in describing the aluminium F-150. It’s basically a cheap and crappy way to sell. Marketiing to the masses using language that isn’t sincere, but yet not lying.

    Most any modern aircraft uses a 6000 series alloy, even developing nations have the capacity to fabricate using 6000 Series aluminium, it isn’t new and has been around for multiple decades, prior to WWII.

    Like I stated high strength steels will give very good weight reductions as well, nearly on par with the us of aluminium.

    The comment that aluminium doesn’t corrode like steel is quite inaccurate. The people who don’t have a clue on what they are discussing should not pass on their information as “Gospel”. Most of the “recommnedations” on this or any blog as incorrect and research you data yourself.

    Aluminium and steel do corrode the same. In all instances both materials revert back to their natural state. It’s called ox!disation.

    Here’s an article of the materials used in the Colorado.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/03/20140317-colorado.html

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A MIL-SPEC is common in the defence world. It isn’t as if a MIL-SPEC makes a material any better than when outs!de of defence. A MIL-SPEC just denotes a standard for the military. All fuels and lubs have a MIL-SPEC, they aren’t any different than what is used by civilian operations.

    It’s kind of odd how Ford is using the term military grade aluminium in describing the aluminium F-150. It’s basically a cheap and crappy way to sell. Marketiing to the masses using language that isn’t sincere, but yet not lying.

    Most any modern aircraft uses a 6000 series alloy, even developing nations have the capacity to fabricate using 6000 Series aluminium, it isn’t new and has been around for multiple decades, prior to WWII.

    Like I stated high strength steels will give very good weight reductions as well, nearly on par with the us of aluminium.

    The comment that aluminium doesn’t corrode like steel is quite inaccurate. The people who don’t have a clue on what they are discussing should not pass on their information as “Gospel”. Most of the “recommnedations” on this or any blog as incorrect and research you data yourself.

    Aluminium and steel do corrode the same. In all instances both materials revert back to their natural state. It’s called ox!disation.

    Here’s an article of the materials used in the Colorado.

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2014/03/20140317-colorado.html

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yes BAFO, both do revert to their natural state. Drrrr. The huge difference is the time it takes to do so, given the same exposure to the elements, moisture, salt, etc. Meaning aluminum has steel beat by decades to centuries.

      • 0 avatar
        Spike_in_Brisbane

        A good example is the old Land Rover as used on African safaris. The body was all aluminium but expecting the car to last forever was a mistake. The steel chassis would rust out from underneath the still nice looking body panels.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They are saying military grade so that they can combat the idea that it is a truck made out of beer cans. When most Americans think MIL-SPEC or Military Grade, they think, “Hey, it’s good enough for the miltary…” That isn’t different than any other marketing. Isn’t all advertising exactly what you said; “using language that isn’t sincere, but yet not lying”? Is Folgers the best part of waking up? Are Wheaties the breakfast of champions? Will Gatorade make you be like Mike? Will a Chevy find new roads for you?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The Humvee was “mil-spec aluminum. Turned out it was the shape that was more responsible for poor IED protection.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @bball40dtw,
        The probability for “beer” can aluminium to have a MIL-SPEC as well is most likely.

        Most any material used in the military has a minimum standard. So most every material is given a military specification.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’m well aware as I spent a few years of my life in the US Army.

          MIL-SPEC and MIL-STD can mean a bunch of different things. Anything that has an NSN is MIL-SPEC. It may also refer to a procedure or proper steps to follow for something.

          I still have my MIL-SPEC towels issued to me in basic training (NSN 7210-01-125-2594). Lord knows they weren’t actually good for drying anything. I think this is the first time I’ve referred to them as MIL-SPEC towels. Standard Issue is usually the common term.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @bball40dtw,
            Then why did you make such a silly comment?

            My life is governed by regulation, standards, etc. It’s called conformance and compliance.

            Don’t submit silly comments to “apologise” for Ford’s insincere marketing.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Al-

            I don’t like the marketing campaign, but I didn’t like the prevoius one with Denis Leary either. I had two points that you completely ignored though:

            1. The average American doesn’t give a crap about what MILSPEC actually is. I haven’t even seen that term actually used in marketing the F150. Usually it’s just “military grade”, which means as much as “professional grade”.

            2. Ford saying that the F150 has “Military Grade” aluminium is no more disingenuous than any other ad campaign ever.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Military Grade aluminum has the ring of advanced fighter jets and no expense spared. If that’s what most consumers envision, well done.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The MKC ads prove that all Ford has to do is produce F Series ads showing Matthew McConaughey driving one down Fifth Avenue or Michigan Avenue while discussing time-space travel and rolling boogers.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I now promote DeadWeight to Chief Marketing Officer at FoMoCo. Make that ad happen!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Actually, 7000 Series is most commonly used in jet fighters.

            6000 Series aluminium is as common as dog sh!t in ALL manufacturing industries.

            Like I stated even developing nations use it quite extensively.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – Your trolling is MIL-SPEC

  • avatar
    tooloud10

    This isn’t nearly so much about aluminum body panels getting more dings and dents as it is the auto industry looking for another revenue stream by selling you something you don’t want or need. Glass etching or Scotchguard, anyone?

    Last vehicle I bought at an Audi dealer, the F&I woman tried telling me that she was legally required to offer this crap to me, at which point I laughed in her face and told her I was walking out the door with my checkbook if they didn’t start moving the paperwork process along. When I stood up, she relented and took my money.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    I’m sure the brainiacs at Ford dealerships see a great opportunity to sell the suckers a “dent and ding’ policy probably due to the perceived view by the public that aluminum is less dent resistant than steel body panels.
    This obviously flies in the face of logic with all the effort Ford is putting into demonstrating the capabilities of their new F150.
    when I bought my 2008 Honda Odyssey the buying experience was fairly painless until the clown started trying to sell me an extended warranty..after an extended rather acrimonious discussion I made it plain I wasn’t going to buy his stupid policy…he finally understood my point and gave up.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    My Citroen C5 has an aluminium bonnet. (Hood). The car was caught in a severe hail storm last year near Port Macquarrie and the dents in the bonnet look exactly the same as those in the roof and boot. (trunk). I have not bothered to check on the comparable cost or effort in fixing them.

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    The aluminum door panels on the last Prius I had seemed to hold up pretty well, until I sideswiped a deer one night. Not sure steel would have held up much better though.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      To LectroByte, you didn’t sideswipe the deer, the deer head-butted you!

      A deer did just that to my front fender this week (Monday night), left a little dent right above the front wheel, steel body panel, but no other apparent damage. She (I didn’t see antlers, but then it all happened pretty fast) came a-runnin’ from the left at a good speed and made a loud noise as she tumbled down the side of my car.

      Not sure aluminum would have worked any different in my case.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Thanks to the other posters, I have learned a considerable amount from this discussion (and others on this site). The collective knowledge (and wit) of the TTAC crowd never ceases to amaze.

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