by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on March 9, 2016
Yes, it's that time again. The oil change reminder flicked on while I was driving our 2015 Ford F-150 and a quick check of the Engine Information screen showed the oil life down to five percent. I was near an auto parts store and a Ford dealership, so I bought the oil at one and a filter at the other and got to work.
I didn't have to do this myself, but I was gun-shy after I did oil change number two myself and discovered that the dealer technician had mistakenly added 10 quarts of oil during oil change number one.
Besides, Josh had taken it in for turbo feed line oil leak some weeks back. That dealer technician topped up the oil after he completed the fix. But did he overfill it like the first guy had?
Nope. Everything was A-OK on that front. Six quarts came out like they should.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on December 17, 2015
The text was to the point: "Your truck is leaking oil."
And by "your truck" my wife meant the Edmunds' 2015 Ford F-150. She had discovered a puddle in the driveway after I left. So I checked underneath and, sure enough, the bottom of the truck was covered in the undeniable, messy truth.
This is where it began.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on November 4, 2015
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 19, 2015
Pt 1 | Pt 2
Last time I stressed the importance of waiting 15 minutes before checking the oil in a 2015 Ford F-150 with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which just happens to be the truck we've got. Ford sent out a Special Service Memo (SSM #45195) to their dealers to highlight the issue, but owners like us didn't get notified.
I found out the hard way when I decided to change the oil in the F-150 myself. After I'd finished with the draining and the filter change, I poured in the required six quarts, checked the dipstick and found it to be 100 percent bone dry. I couldn't believe it. I checked again and got the same result.
Dumbfounded, I looked at my 12-quart drain pan. It should have been half full, but it was brimming with what turned out to be 10 quarts of used oil. Ten!
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on October 14, 2015
I just finished changing the oil in our 2015 Ford F-150. In the process I discovered something highly unusual that every owner of an F-150, Ford Edge or Lincoln MKX powered by the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine must know.
You must wait 15 minutes after shutting down any 2.7-liter EcoBoost mill before you check the oil. If not, you'll get a false reading that will almost certainly lead you to add more oil than the engine needs. Why? Something about the design of this engine's internal oil passages makes it take a long time for the oil to work its way down to the pan and the waiting dipstick.
This is real. The false reading and overfilling potential is significant, as I discovered during the oil change.
July 31, 2015
In between the 2015 Ford F-150's return from Boise and my own trip to retrieve our 2015 Audi A3, I brought the truck to Santa Monica Ford for its first service. The first service calls for a tire change and oil rotation at 10,000 miles. We also needed to fix the rear seat release and order a new lens cover for the side mirror.
A few times in the last month, we've also seen the parking brake light in the instrument panel trigger while the truck was in motion. That was on our fix-it list, too. I pulled into the dealer at noon on a Thursday to drop it off.
June 26, 2015
We were on the road to Boise, Idaho, to pick up the Edmunds Yugo when our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 ticked over the 10,000-mile mark. About 300 miles earlier, the Ford chimed in to say that it required an oil change. We didn't have time to schedule a service visit in Idaho, so I checked the oil and kept on motoring. The warning seemed strange, though. Ninety-seven thousand miles isn't the kind of round number we're used to seeing in service intervals, so I checked with the manual.
June 17, 2015
Before we could repair a harmless chip in the windshield of our 2015 Ford F-150, it grew into a large crack. The windshield needed replacement. We've had positive experiences using Safelite AutoGlass so we tried them again, although this time we opted to visit one of their outlets rather than have the glass installed at our doorstep.
Did we go with a factory replacement or aftermarket? Read on.
June 8, 2015
Some people will tell you there's no such thing as luck, good or bad. But I don't know what else to call it when the car ahead kicks up a rock and hurls it at your windshield.
That's exactly what happened to our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup.
May 6, 2015
It's seemingly a feast of recalls around here. First our A3 and Golf GTI, now our F-150. But in the best fashion of an inexplicable traffic jam, there's nothing to see here. We didn't expect our 2015 Ford F-150 to be one of the 91 trucks affected by Ford's recall for improperly installed or missing underbody heat shields. But our luck with trucks has been suspect lately, so we followed up just to be sure.
April 30, 2015
We've already noted that the 2015 Ford F-150's tow mirrors are excellent at providing not one, but two excellent views of the cars around you. There's also the added benefit of a blind-spot warning system, admittedly made redundant by those two aforementioned mirrors.
We've also already noted that when fully extended, the mirrors can be easily damaged. However, I think there's a very good chance of that happening even in their most inward position.
April 20, 2015
I know what you're thinking. Of course it will fit. The 2015 Ford F-150 is a pickup with a bed hanging off the back, for crying out loud.
Yes, but then I'd need some sort of rack, a lock and a wary eye in certain parking lots. I can avoid all this because ours has a crew cab — or, as Ford is fond of saying, a SuperCrew cab.
Aluminum was not the only thing big change for 2015. They also shifted the central door post of the crew cab forward a couple of inches to improve access to the back half of the cab.
April 2, 2015
I was packed up and ready for a 1,000-mile road trip when I saw it: a chip/crack in the windshield of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150.
March 18, 2015
This is what can happen when you're not paying close attention while exiting a parking garage in our 2015 Ford F-150. It wasn't that I wasn't paying attention at all, I just didn't realize that our extendable trailer tow mirrors were in their most extended position. That only leaves a few inches of clearance on either side when exiting a certain section of our office garage.
February 18, 2015
For some time we've toyed with the idea of equipping our test trucks with spray-on bedliners. Without any sort of protection they get scratched up, which comes across (to some) as unsightly. Truck bed scuffs can also diminish resale value and increase the risk of future corrosion.
We could have equipped our 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 4x4 pickup with a factory spray-on bedliner for $475, but we'd never spent any time with the factory offering in real life. Besides, Ford's bedliner department still follows old Henry Ford's famous line: any color you want, so long as it is black.
The brilliant "Blue Flame" paint on our truck is not a particularly dark color, and the Lariat Sport package adds enough black accents of its own. We figured a color-matched bedliner would look much better, so we turned to Line-X, a stalwart in the spray-on truck bedliner business.
Line-X is a franchise business, so prices vary a little across the country. Our local shop in Orange, California sells the basic black one for about the same price as Ford: $485. A UV-resistant topcoat that prevents the black from fading costs $150 more, but the color-matched UV-resistant topcoat we had in mind is a $300 upgrade. Do the math and you'll see that our total came to $785. More money, for sure, but better-looking.
They said it'd take about three hours to prep and spray our truck. After that I could take it home so long as I didn't load anything into it and kept it dry for the next 24 hours. So I showed up at their front door at 8:30 a.m. and texted my wife to say I'd be back in time to take her to lunch.
January 28, 2015
So the Sport 4x4 sticker on the side of our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 was now wonky, which was gonna bug me forever if we didn't get it properly placed on the quarter panel. We needed to have it rereplaced.
In case you missed it, we hit our aluminum-bodied F-150 with a sledgehammer, took it to a Ford dealer to fix it and ultimately concluded that the fix cost more than equivalent steel body panel repairs.
The repair, done by Santa Monica Ford, was beautiful, with one exception. The new Sport 4x4 sticker was now wonky. It just wasn't where it should be. Basically, the placement didn't match the other unrepaired side of the truck.
The deviation was so minor we didn't even notice it until the repair was paid for and the truck was back at our office. But the corner of the "S" now overlapped the panel crease, which it shouldn't. It wasn't way off, just an inch or so too close to the taillight. We wanted it fixed.
January 27, 2015
"The normal aluminum labor rate is $120 an hour, but since you're paying out of pocket I'm going to cut you a deal," the service advisor said, holding back the computer print-out. "I'm only going to charge you our normal rate of $60 an hour but it's over 20 hours of labor."
When I dropped off our long-term 2015 Ford F-150 a week ago, I couldn't tell if the advisor was trying to soften the blow of a costly repair or if he was really taking pity on me. There was no "Aluminum Body Rate" on their posted list of prices in the waiting room, just the "Body Rate per Hour" of $60. Whether this was an exaggeration or not, it was a nice sentiment. I lied to the service advisor, so in his mind, I was the victim of a hit-and-run accident and I deserved a bit of leeway.
The damage was actually a result of two blows from a sledgehammer. We were testing the theory that aluminum is more expensive to repair than steel and I had lied about the damage to get the most realistic customer experience possible. So far, it seemed to be working. The repair would take "twice as long as steel" but I'd be paying half the standard rate. It was time to break out the calculator and do some funky math.
January 26, 2015
After bouncing an 8-pound sledgehammer off the side of our new long-term 2015 Ford F-150, twice, I went undercover and drove it to our local Ford dealer, Santa Monica Ford, for repair.
As explained in Part 1 of our adventure, the idea was to test the hypothesis that when the aluminum body of our 2015 F-150 is damaged, it takes longer and is more expensive to repair than a more traditional steel-body pickup truck.
Ford claims the 2015 Ford F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter thanks to its aluminum panels, which increases overall fuel economy and payload. But what happens when Thor decides to use your truck for target practice?
January 26, 2015
I hit our brand-new long-term 2015 Ford F-150 4X4 SuperCrew with a sledgehammer. On purpose.
We bought the $52,000 F-150 from Galpin Ford in Van Nuys, California. The day after the truck was delivered to our Edmunds office in Santa Monica, I went to work with the BFH, intentionally denting the Ford's right quarter panel.
Crazy? Maybe. But we wanted to find out if repairing the aluminum-bodied Ford is more expensive and time-intensive than repairing traditional steel-bodied trucks. Remember, the F-150 is the first pickup truck with a lightweight aluminum body and bed. After much thought we chose to smash the bed side because it would need to be repaired, as opposed to a dented door, fender or hood, which could simply be replaced.
So in the name of consumer awareness we dented our truck with two big blows from a sledgehammer (the impact also cracked the taillight) and drove it straight from the Edmunds garage to our local Ford dealer, Santa Monica Ford, and asked for an estimate. Take the jump to check out the sledgehammer video.