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Old 12-18-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Diesel Repair Expensive?

Every time the discussion comes up between Diesel vs. Gas someone always chimes in that Diesels are way more expensive to maintain and repair.

I think we all agree regular maintenance is slightly more for a diesel simply because the volume of fluids is greated plus the additional fuel filter service that is much more frequent on a diesel vs a gasser.

As for Repair...

My 2007.5 LMM Duramax just had its first trip in to the shop, I braced myself because I was told several times "just wait, you will see" how much more it is to fix a diesel.

Last Monday, I went out to my truck and it wouldn't crank. The DIC and dash lights would flash or 1/2 the pixels would light up and the other 1/2 were dark. No power door locks, windows, radio, dome lights, etc. In the days leading up there was no indication of a problem, no CEL, everything was running fine.

Tried scanning, no codes -- I was at a loss so I took it in.

Shop diagnosis was the Body Control Module (BCM) computer crashed. Required replacement BCM and a new software flash. Additionally a glow plug went out on the 4th cylinder.

I was nervous I was going to get a multi-thousand $ repair, certainly after everything that folks say about the cost of diesel repair.

Now expense is a relative term, I understand that. For me I was very pleased when the final repair bill was $919.30.

Don't get me wrong, $900 is a lot of money, but for a 7+ year old truck with 110k miles this is my first repair and I don't think having to put $1k or so every 7+ years is too unexpected.

Time will tell, maybe this is just the first, I certainly hope not.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience with others so they have at least one example of what this diesel owner’s actual repair and associate cost were.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:06 PM   #2
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I purchase all the filters for my 6.7l online at Dieselfiltersonline. I buy them in quantity [oil, fuel, air] because shipping is the same. My 6.7 oil capacity is 13qts and is changed twice a year. Fuel filters[primary/secondary] costs around $50 for both and are changed every 18k. Air filter is $13 and changed when the fuel filters are done. I do all the work myself so $ saved there. In these somewhat newer diesel engines, proper maintenance is critical, but not that expensive. You're right, $900 in 7 years isn't bad at all. Of course, if the HPFP on my engine decides to grenade, it's major $, as with most fuel injected engines.
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
Every time the discussion comes up between Diesel vs. Gas someone always chimes in that Diesels are way more expensive to maintain and repair.

I think we all agree regular maintenance is slightly more for a diesel simply because the volume of fluids is greated plus the additional fuel filter service that is much more frequent on a diesel vs a gasser.

As for Repair...

My 2007.5 LMM Duramax just had its first trip in to the shop, I braced myself because I was told several times "just wait, you will see" how much more it is to fix a diesel.

Last Monday, I went out to my truck and it wouldn't crank. The DIC and dash lights would flash or 1/2 the pixels would light up and the other 1/2 were dark. No power door locks, windows, radio, dome lights, etc. In the days leading up there was no indication of a problem, no CEL, everything was running fine.

Tried scanning, no codes -- I was at a loss so I took it in.

Shop diagnosis was the Body Control Module (BCM) computer crashed. Required replacement BCM and a new software flash. Additionally a glow plug went out on the 4th cylinder.

I was nervous I was going to get a multi-thousand $ repair, certainly after everything that folks say about the cost of diesel repair.

Now expense is a relative term, I understand that. For me I was very pleased when the final repair bill was $919.30.

Don't get me wrong, $900 is a lot of money, but for a 7+ year old truck with 110k miles this is my first repair and I don't think having to put $1k or so every 7+ years is too unexpected.

Time will tell, maybe this is just the first, I certainly hope not.

Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience with others so they have at least one example of what this diesel owner’s actual repair and associate cost were.
My next truck will be a Duramax as I know they are very reliable as compared to other diesels. A friend has a three year old Cummins and he has gone Bankrupt trying to keep it on the road. I have a 15 liter Cummins in my big truck and I also have just about gone broke keeping it on the road. My 2011 Tundra so far has cost me ZERO in maintenance and repairs as it came with a seven year extended warranty and all maintenance costs included for eight years which I purchased up front for $500. So far there haven't been any repairs at all. I got zero percent interest so the extra $500 up front was worth it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:12 PM   #4
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My 12 Ram CTD has been flawless for 30 months. The money I save over a gasser towing covers the extra $ for oil changes, fuel filter. I don't think anyone can bash the other brands because their brand has had no issues. They all have issues. Anyone that thinks theirs is bullet proof is dreaming. Main issue with diesels is they have a better chance of having a major repair expense. Doesn't mean it will happen, just that it is a possibility. Very rarely do you hear of a $9-11,000 repair on a gasser. Like most diesel owners I'll take my chances so I can have a better towing experience.
Problem is we don't always get the whole story when someone has a problem. When someone says a friend has had so much trouble he finally sold it. Well, was it tuned, did he let it warm up before nailing the gas pedal or did he DD it all over town and not run the crude out of it once in awhile?
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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For the record, my friend is a professional driver with over 50 years experience over the road. He knows what he is doing... I have 20 years over the road with 2 million accident free miles and I think I know what I'm doing also. His Cummins is junk so is mine plan and simple!!!!!
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:39 PM   #6
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Total cost of ownership includes a few things that often get overlooked.
You can take a 15 year view including the end of life selling price for the diesel truck against a 10 year life including end of life selling price and you will discover that the diesel did pretty well.

Cost of ownership should also include finance charges if they exist. The other day I read that the average payment in the USA is about $425.00/month and if that same amount was put in a RothIRA from age 30 to 70 you would have 5 million dollars.

Keeping a truck for as long as it's possible will pay big in the end.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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I have had several different vehicles and I have not experienced significant repair expense with any of them.

My wife and I had a 1990 Toyota Camry for 18 years (car was hers when we started dating and on through marriage) - only repair beyond normal maintenance was replacement of a front wheel bearing. I had a 1992 Mazda B2600i compact pickup for 20 years: one repair outside of normal maintenance was ECMreplacement. The least reliable vehicle I have experienced was the minivan we got: a 2004 Honda Odyssey: key locks, electric windows, heater blower motor, and a front motor mount; all broke and replaced. I have had my Jeep Patriot for six years with no issues; my Ram 2500 for two years with no issues.

I think there is a valid point of the individual design requiring greater maintenance dollars: the Honda minivan requires replacement of the timing belt, an expensive visit for maintenance in my opinion due to poor design (why not use a timing chain?). My diesel pickup has no maintenance items anywhere near that cost. So, do diesel pickups cost less to maintain than minivans?

I think there is no doubt that regular maintenance items are higher on the diesel trucks, but I don't know that it is true that repairs are more expensive. I think so much depends on how you care for a machine and treat it that it is hard to say.

Everybody has their opinion. There is a forum on the web for each of the diesel pickups; you will find the brand represented by the forum you are reading is superior to the other two brands. You will find those with diesel trucks think diesels are better and not more expensive; those with gasoline trucks think gas is better.

Politics, religion, trucks, motor oil, and dog versus cat: never going to get any agreement on these, and whatever a person has or does I best, everything else is no good.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #8
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Do most people care what kind of truck anyone prefers? Just buy what you want/can afford and live with it.

Lots of folk like to stir the truck wars, who cares. Many are happy with all the big three or they would not be in business.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RUSSELL5000 View Post
Politics, religion, trucks, motor oil, and dog versus cat: never going to get any agreement on these, and whatever a person has or does I best, everything else is no good.
Very well put. Having towed with both gas/diesel, the extra maintenance costs on the diesel are well worth it to me to have that kind of towing experience.
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Old 12-18-2014, 02:50 PM   #10
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"Diesel Repair Expensive?"


I think a good answer to the OP`s post would come from anyone who has experienced a significant repair bill with a diesel engine, regardless of brand.
One example I can offer is my FIL`s Duramax dually 3500 needed an injector job at around 100K miles, after warranty. Cost was $4200.00.
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