Each one comes individually wrapped in its own Ford parts bag.

Ford Technician and Redditor /u/smoothxj40 shared with the /r/Justrolledintotheshop subreddit one of the, what he titles is, “most pointless part” from Ford’s official parts catalog.

With over 4,600 upvotes, most subreddit members agree.

Check out the bag part# HU5Z-14A163-C comes in below.

Each retainer comes in its own bag.

If you didn’t already scrolled to the second photo here’s what that part is below, it’s not just any zip tie, it’s an approved by Ford retainer.

One zip tie, pardon me, retainer.

MSRP for one zip tie is $1.50.

“You might be able to get the parts counter to give you a 10% discount if you are nice about it,” /u/Im_100percent_human sarcastically commented.

To put that $1.50 into perspective, 100 heavy duty and heat resistant zip ties from Amazon are $4.59 for 100 (or less than 5 cents each.)

There are even mil-spec ones made in the United States that are cheaper by the unit, too.

3.5 cents each.

So, are these zip ties as pointless and wasteful as they seem?

No, yeah no.

Looking up this part number and I came across a recall from Ford for Lincoln MKZs.

According to the safety recall,

“…there may be insufficient clearance between the battery cable harness and the transmission shifter cable bracket, which could allow contact. Over time, this could damage the insulation of the battery positive cable, resulting in a short to ground, and leading to a potential fire.

The parts for the safety recall require a bespoke battery cable wiring shield (the part in blue below) and 10 retainers which, to the naked eye, look like 10 zip ties.

Battery cable wiring shield zip-tied on with special Ford-provided retainers.

You have to understand it from Ford’s and their legal team’s perspective. If they’re going to issue a recall they have to get it right the first (or second?) time around. The parts and procedure their technicians must perform must be standardized, no room for variations.

Except for length and color, while all zip ties look and function the same, not all are built to the same specs.

To name a few, there are heavy duty, UV resistant, and heat resistant zip ties.

The vast majority of zip ties, the ones you find in Staples or the Dollar Tree, are none of those.

Ford cannot risk leaving it up technicians to use dealership-provided or personally bought zip ties they have lying at the bottom of their tool box.

Some techs might go above and beyond and use those mil-spec ones but there will be those techs that don’t care, who’ll put on the cheapest zip ties they can find.

If they left it up to their techs to use 10 of their own and, one or several of those zip ties fail resulting in an MKX burning down possibly causing injury or death, Ford will be in an even bigger mess as they’ll probably have to issue another recall swapping out third-party zip ties for some of their own.

“These ties are probably specifically tested to a certain standard of heat/UV/oil/water resistance, shear/tear/rubbing rather than whatever landed in from China that week available off the shelf at Harbor Freight, ” /u/Lauzz91 comments.

Now, are their any major differences in heat resistance and durability than the ones I posted from Amazon above or equivalent zip ties?

To be honest, probably not.

However, the ones from Ford come from a Ford-approved supplier who, to their knowledge, has either tested their zip ties up to a certain standard or Ford has determined these zip ties hold up in their recall fix durability testing.

Pointless? On face value, it looks like it but, from Ford’s perspective no.

Wasteful? Maybe. Why not sell them in packs of 10, at least.

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