Aluminum Auto Body Repair? Should I Avoid Going There?

Aluminum Auto Body Repair | Should I Avoid Going There

Aluminum has been around for years in the airline and space industries. That Boeing 737 that you crammed yourself into on your last trip utilizes aluminum to keep weight down while not compromising on strength. Audi has been innovating with light-weight materials vehicles since the 1990s.

To gain weight and performance advantages, Ford trucks went all-in on aluminum in 2015. Since the move, consumers have been hearing speculation about the high cost of auto body repair associated with the material. Are these rumors true? Is aluminum more complex and difficult to work with? Is it more fragile?

No, say the experts, it’s just different.

Who are these experts? Auto insurance companies are authorities on the subject. You can easily tell what they are thinking by their rates. As it turns out, they charge you no more for owning an aluminum vehicle than a traditional vehicle. Over time, they have found that the aluminum F-150 is no more expensive to insure than the previous steel-bodied models.

Other experts are folks like us who repair these vehicles. Though there was an initial investment in training and equipment, now that we have these in place, repairs can take even less time than previous steel bodies.

This is true because the truck was designed with repairs in mind from the outset. We can replace the truck’s rocker panels (metal below the doors, between the wheels) and floor pan in sections, reducing repair time. The B-pillars (vertical roof supports) can be patched up without disturbing the roof. In addition, the apron tube (front rail) can be fixed without removing the A-pillar or dashboard.

Get Significant Savings

Also, parts prices can be lower as well. Hoods, front bumpers, and other parts have decreased by double-digit percentages over previous models. Ford has pressured suppliers of sealants, chemicals and other consumables needed for repairs on the new bodies to keep costs down.

Yes, steel and aluminum are different. They require unique primers and sealants, specially-coated fasteners and completely different techniques. Traditional hammer and dolly and welding methods do not work well with aluminum. In fact, welding aluminum reduces strengthening by taking out the temper. Heat is also difficult to control and can be messy. We typically bond and rivet panels in place, as per specifications by the manufacturer. We’re also very careful to keep steel and aluminum separate—floating steel dust can corrupt an aluminum repair!

That’s why you need experts on your side when it comes to aluminum body repair and we are the right team. We are Ford-certified, which means we have the training and equipment to work on F-150s. We are also Gold Class-certified, giving you the assurance that we use only quality parts and offer superior craftsmanship. At Cline Collision Center, we will bring your aluminum-bodied vehicle back to pre-collision condition. We also offer a full slate of traditional autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today!

Aluminum Body Repair Cost

On average, aluminum body repair costs more than steel body repair. However, don’t panic! There are a few common reasons why. For starters, shops like Cline Collision Repair have loads more training, and access to professional resources to stay up to date with the latest changes and advancements in the aluminum body repair industry. As a certified shop, it is a lot easier to get what we need, and we already have the specialty tools and training necessary to get the job done. This makes the work cheaper for you. If you were to bring your vehicle into another shop that is not certified, brace yourself for sticker shock. They likely do not do the repairs as often and must search out additional training for your job specifically. This can make your costs skyrocket. Working with aluminum is not any more difficult of a task than working with steel, it is just different. Now that the Ford F-150 is aluminum bodied, other body shops should be catching up with these changes. After all, it is consistently the USA’s most popular pickup truck every year. The cost will be less for aluminum body repair when you choose a professional certified shop like Cline Collision Center. Don’t be tempted by a low estimate of a shop that is not certified. This can back fire and cost you significantly more than before.

Aluminum Body Repair Cost

Take it from one of our customers, John M., who left us this 5-star review on yelp:

“There are a lot of body shops to choose from on Piner Road, but Cline is a cut above the rest.  The shop is always immaculately clean, the service writers and the repair techs are courteous and professional and the level of attention they pay to detail here is impressive.

I had the front bumper nearly to torn off of my Chrysler, and they had me in and out in 30 minutes and on the road after clipping it back in place.  100% recommend these guys for any collision or incidental damage repairs; they are the real deal”.

Or another from our happy customer Anthony M.

“My car, a 2014 Kia Optiama, was at Cline for both front end and rear end damage (Totaling about $9,000). Dealing with Joe for the quote process was painless. No appointment, I just dropped in, it took 12 minutes’ tops. Cline dealt with the insurance company, had enterprise pick me up… It couldn’t have gone smoother. I loved that they use the service so I can login online and check the status of my repair and even get text/email updates. Pickup was delayed by a few days due to a wrong part, but it was over a holiday weekend and I was out of town anyway so it worked. When I picked up the car yesterday I was shocked. It looked brand new, the paint match was impeccable, the bumper/lights/panels all lined up evenly and snugly and the cheery on top was a full seemingly professional wash and detail (It was cleaner than when I drove it off the dealer’s lot brand new) 10/10. If you’re reading this after an accident thinking about taking your car here, do yourself a favor and just do it, you won’t regret it”.

Nobody wants to be involved in a collision, but if that day arises, Cline Collision Center is the body shop you’ve been looking for.