Diesel costs and upkeep?

doncoledoncole Member Posts: 5
edited April 2014 in Chevrolet
I am looking at getting a Crew Cab 4x4 (Ford or Chevy) and will be eventually (not now) pulling a horse trailer and living on a ranch.

I'm comparing engines for power and mileage (right now it will just be driven around town and to work). I like what I've read about the new Duramax diesels, but I want to find out what additional costs there will be.

I've read that if you don't do a ton of driving that the diesels aren't worth the extra $$.

Any information on diesels in general, the Duramax, or the Ford Powerstroke, would be appreciated.




  • ethuressonethuresson Member Posts: 55
    Well, I own a VW diesel; it's no powerstroke or duramax BUT! If you plan on towing a horse trailer, and can get over the insane markup on those new diesels, The diesel is the best way to go, IMHO. Superior performance (if 0 to 60 isn't your only concern) and superior durability and mileage. No substitute for torque when towing and hauling; diesels have it in spades...
  • lwittorflwittorf Member Posts: 96
    Haven't run the figures my self but a dlr in Spokane said that you won't make any money til after 100k with the dsl, higher price for fuel,more oil at changes,filter price 4-5 times just to name a few. The question is do you need the extra power to do what you want or are you going to be bare pu most of the time.I had a Ford ps and got 17 mph for general runs on trips a little better but not a lot.I now have a chev 1500 with the 5.3 and am getting 16.8 going back and forth to work and 20.3 highway if I need to haul heavy I use a trailer and have the better ride and less cost so far. good luck with your decision.
  • hdriderhdrider Member Posts: 49
    I have owned my 93 Chevy 6.5L TD since new. I will tell you that maintenance cost is much higher than gas engines. And can be inconvenient.

    1. Maintenance is not cheap! More oil to change. Parts are more expensive. I spent $625 for a new starter. You have two batteries to replace. Fuel injectors can run into the $100s+ EASY, especially for the newer trucks (i.e. the Power Stroke injectors are over $600 EACH and there are eight of them!) You can go longer between rebuilds than gas but rebuilds can run $2000-3000 for a GOOD one.

    2. Finding qualified diesel mechanics can be tough, especially in smaller towns. I have had some of the worst diesel mechanics right at the dealership (very little experience). I've had better luck with diesel mechanics that work on big rigs.

    3. Fuel is getting to be the price of mid- to premium-grade unleaded. Depending on where you are, diesel can be tough to find, especially in small towns. You have to plan your routes accordingly.

    4. Check out TheDieselPage.com. Great site if you own a GM diesel!

    As mentioned, if you want torque for towing, diesels are the way to go! If it's just to have a Turbo Diesel, plan on higher maintenance costs! Good luck!
  • t37l1011t37l1011 Member Posts: 24
    What kind of fuel mileage are you getting with the 6.5 TD. GM says the Duramax will get 19% better mileage than the 6.5. I find that really hard to believe unless the 6.5 mileage is just plain awful. I can't find any information anywhere about what kind of mileage to actually expect from the Duramax. Of course, after reading about the extra expenses of a diesel in your message, you've pretty much scared me back to a gas burner. Any other comments you can make that would help me make my decision would be greatly appreciated. The upfront money doesn't bother me near as much as the upkeep cost. If it isn't cheaper to drive a diesel then I don't want one. Thanks.

  • bmaigebmaige Member Posts: 140
    I have read somewhere in passing that the Duramax has aluminum heads. Anyone have a lot of miles on one yet? I know it is unlikely since it is so new, but I am concerned about what will happen as far as it staying together for lots of miles and lots of years with mixed metals in block and head in an engine that has such high compression.

    Anyone have any thoughts on that?
  • hdriderhdrider Member Posts: 49
    Wendell and bmaige (some info for you, too),
    Sorry, but I don't get online much anymore. I get between 15-17 city/highway combined. I have heard the Duramax averages around 20 I think. Check out TheDieselPage.com. There is a ton of info about the Duramax there, including a cross-country exhibition drive they did with a HD3500! If I scared you off, that wasn't my intent. I love having a TD! Whether I'm at sea level or 8000 feet elevation, my truck will run fine. I have no trouble crossing Wolfcreek Pass (10,000 feet) in S. Colo doing 65mph! But the above-mentioned specifics really get on my nerves some times. I have seriously contemplated the Duramax, but may go gas for the convenience and the lack of a heavy towing requirement.
    Good luck!
  • rsabakarsabaka Member Posts: 8
    I have an F250, 4X4,SC,SD,Manual 6 spd trans. with the diesel, and so far I'm getting 20+ mpg. That's with mixed driving and only 5200 miles. I'm hoping to do even better. Haven't trailered anything yet but have gotten a couple loads of hay. Yes, maintenance is more expensive, but...
  • frankno1frankno1 Member Posts: 68
    Would a person be smarter to buy himself a small car, 25 to 30 mpg for going back and forth to work and groceries etc. and get a V10 for towing and let it set. I get 12mpg in town with a F250SD and 27mpg with a small used Suzuki. I drive 15,000 to 20,000 miles per year total with about a 14 to 1
    split. Thats a lot more savings than 5 to 6 mpg off of the Diesel. A heck of a lot less maintenance and a 3.5 to 4 qt oil change and $2.50 filters. And still have a new 6.8L V10 to pull with. Its got 310hp and 425lbs ft torque, there's not a whole lot you can't tow. One negative though is you can't swell out your chest and say I have a diesel. I never have compared the two costs together but I bet there less than owning a diesel. Have a great day everyone.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Think how much more you could save on depreciation, insurance, licensing if you drove a 10 year old F250 with the 460? Hey, those 2 extra spark plugs cost money!
  • frankno1frankno1 Member Posts: 68
    Good idea I never thought of that, another idea would be to dump the Suzuki and ride a bicycle, no gas at all. Mimimal maintenance, no emissions from the bicycle that is maybe a little from the peddler. The old 460 was a great engine I still don't know why they quit using it. Thought for the day is keep Fording.
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