Thinking of buying a Diesel Truck for the First time what do i want to know?? - Diesel Forum -
1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of buying a Diesel Truck for the First time what do i want to know??

Guys this is the thread that will separate the men for the boys. and i need the men with 3-5 years of owning a diesel truck to mainly post.

i'm finally sick of gas prices and heck if i can drive a truck and spend the same amount in gas than a car then why not!

my first car was a civic becoz of gas prices now that car has become way too tiny for me and i hate being cramped up and uncomfortable every time i have to go somewhere!

i plan on buying a F250 and wanna pick up a 2000-2004 and want to spend around 20k canadian.

i have a few questions.

1. Which year was the most reliable F250 made in?

2. What is the mileage you get per gas tank and how much do you spend to fill up your tank?

3. What is the general maintainence on a Diesel truck compared to a gas truck?..what will i need to replace on a yearly basis other than the general stuff like oil changes, brakes, etc. i heard stories about replacing diesel fuel filters, diesel-water seperator (not sure what this is)

4. how hard is it really for diesel trucks starting in the morning since i live in toronto canada it gets quite cold here -30 celicius with wind chill

5. where do you start to find a well maintained truck. for my civic i was able to check for compression in the motor, oil, spark plugs which was very simple.when it comes down to diesel trucks where would i begin to inspect the truck.

please feel free to add anything i may need to consider when moving from a gas vehicle to a diesel vehicle.

my expectations of buying a diesel truck would simply be to get better fuel mileage out of the money i spend on gas each month. if a diesel truck is very high maintainece that is omehting i would be interested in knowing.

all mature advice needed here

thanks and sorry for making you read this essay i just wrote...i just want to be prepared for somehting i will be buying and have no idea about diesel trucks at all. consider me a me i wont take it the wrong way!
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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what MPG's do you get with your V8 and/or V10 Turbo Diesel Trucks please specify your year make and model and if any mods were done to help mileage please
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 10:10 PM
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Stepping from a Civic to a diesel SuperDuty is quite a large step.... The first thing you are going to notice is the maintenance requirements... 14 litres of oil at every change plus the price of the filter.... Your new to you diesel probably wont like many attempts at "extended oil change intervals"... Last I heard, Hogtown can get a bit chilly. Add the fuel filter change every 15 or 20K.

If you don't NEED a diesel, there is every chance that a diesel will disappoint you.

A well maintained diesel will start well in subfreezing temps.... considering that repowering the truck can cost as much as 15k ~ 20K CAD, there are many times that you might want to use the block heater even though the truck will start at whatever you have for ambient temp.

Fuel consumption.... your diesel will make the Honda look like a penny pincher...

I've been in the automotive trades for nearly 40 years... the best purchase advice I can give is to make sure you are letting the "big head" make all the decisions.... "Wanting" a diesel SuperDuty isn't a real good reason for getting one.

As for a pre-purchase inspection.... pick a good shop with a diesel savvy tech.... These are quite a bit more complex than gas engines... and techs that can work on them effectively aren't a dime a dozen.

Consider this.... I work on these trucks every day. Three weeks out of a year, it would be great to have one of these trucks.... the other 49 weeks, I'd be doing it more harm than good.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 10:20 PM
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I don't have the years of ownership credentials that you requested but I thought I'd address this part of your question.

"...please feel free to add anything i may need to consider when moving from a gas vehicle to a diesel vehicle. ...if a diesel truck is very high maintenance that is somehting i would be interested in knowing..."

First off, this is my first diesel and I love it and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I've had it since Oct '05. Now, I wouldn't call it "very high" maintenance but you might want to compare the cost of various routine maintenance items (engine only) if it makes any difference to your decision. I'm talking fuel filter, oil filter, 15 quarts of oil, etc. These items are all 2 to 3 times the cost of the similar part for a gasser. I didn't think about it before buying but It's not been a show stopper.


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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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i must say this is the best forum in which a newbie hasn't been burned with immature comments. .. grampyjim and olddieseldude, u guys are a positive to this site!

the reason i want a diesel is not because i want it but because i need it to tow my 1500-2500 pound trailer when fully loaded with 2 bikes and gears etc. i do track days and need somehting that is not TOO BIG and POWERFUL but something that will do the job and cost me little in the long run! the reason i wanted a diesel is because i heard the motors last along time and they are great in fuel mileage..this was my assumption before i really started reading up about diesel truck an their rgular maintainence schedules... thanks to this forum my knowledge has incresed about diesel trucks...
pretty much i need a truck that can tow my 900 trailer and 2 bikes weighing in a total of 2500 lbs or so. what is the smallest iesel truck that will do the job and mind you i dont have money trees in my backyard and i'm not a slut from the downdown area. my dad always said your car is a service, make it work for you and not the other way around!so i dont really want to spend every dime i make on my truck. its not my toy. its going to be a daily driver. i pu about 20,000kms a year work and leisure.

what should i do
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 07:48 AM
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I've owned my F350 for 4 years, but my needs don't justify having a truck this large. I'm 55 years old, the kids have been gone for years, my other expenses in life decreased, so I spoiled myself with this F350. Prior to this truck I drove a V6 Nissan pickup for 16 years.

I'm now paying $3.36 per gallon US dollars. What a contrast with the first tankful in 2004 when I paid $1.59 per gallon. I suspect somewhere in the not too distant future that $3.36 will be a pleasant memory.

Today, every mile I drive costs $0.24, just for fuel. Last week I filled up and saw the fuel pump display $124.00.
I change my oil and filter at a cost of $60.00 every 5k miles.
Fuel filters are $36.00 every 15k miles, and I change those.
An air filter for my truck is more than $60.00, and some places charge a lot more than that.
The list goes on.

In my opinion, as you described your uses and your economics, you may want to look in the direction of a 1/2 ton gasser truck; including the smaller Nissans, Toyotas, and Colorados, or a small to medium size SUV with a gas engine. The 2500 pounds of tow load you listed is fairly low and can easily be handled with the type vehicles I mentioned.

If you bypass the 3/4 ton diesel, over a 5-7 year period, you'll probably be several thousand dollars ahead after realizing the various savings.


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Last edited by 601HP; 02-02-2008 at 08:11 AM.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 07:50 AM
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If you are only planning to tow 2500 pounds, there are a lot more economical vehicles out there that will handle that kind of load. Heck, the Ford Escape small SUV with the V6 has a 3500 pound towing capacity, If you need or want a truck, for that kind of weight an F-150 gasser would do the job handily.

I bought my first (2004) diesel before the price of diesel went up (now higher than premimum gas), and because diesels got significantly higher mileage than the gassers. My 2006 6.0 gets up to 18 on the highway (empty), and about 12 around town. Longevity of this engine is still to be determined, in my opinion.

Given the price of fuel, the marginally better fuel economy, the cost of maintenance (oil, filters), and the much higher initial cost, if I had it to do over again today, I'd probably go gas. I like my diesel, and love the power (especially when towing 9000 pounds +), and I plan on keeping it until it dies, but I don't think I'd do it again.

But if I didn't have the need to haul the stuff I haul, and only needed to tow up to 2500 pounds, I wouldn't even consider a diesel.

If you are looking for low cost of ownership and fuel economy, I think you would be sorely disappointed in a diesel truck. It would appear to be way more than you need for your modest towing purposes.

Just my $0.02 worth.


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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 12:15 PM
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I've owned two. The most recent for about 8 years, see signature. Maintenance is not an issue, other than 14 quarts of oil, it is far less maintenance than a comparable gas rig.

But listen to GrampyJim, if you don't need a diesel truck don't go there, you will be disappointed. These things are built for heavy use. A fill-up costs me about $130US+, I get on average 550-600 miles on a tank full. That works out to roughly $0.23US per mile, more than twice the cost of your Honda.

If you need something bigger consider perhaps a Ford Explorer, Saturn Vue, or a Honda SUV. If you really need a truck a gas half-ton may be the answer.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 12:36 PM
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These guys are laying out some good advice for you. Even though we love our diesel SD's,they aren't the most economical to drive.

I bought an 02 2wd (actually leased it) and drove it for 5 years without any kind of problem whatsoever. When the lease was up I got rid of it only because I needed
a 4wd for towing my off-road jeep and my Bobcat into some places were the 2wd would not go.

I looked around locally and found this 99 that I have now for 13K
Like any used vehicle you take a chance?? but it's as solid a truck as I have ever owned and I LOVE to drive it! even not towing.

Point is, you can find a good used SD diesel and you will like it, but again it's gonna cost more to drive it. We all sometimes are driven more by "want" than "need"!
If you get one let us know, everyone here will be glad to lend experience and advice on it.
As far as which year was the most desireable, I won't touch that one!LOL
Good Luck if you decide to start "strokin"!

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:09 PM
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I have owned a 2003 F-250 Superduty for about three years. I own a small landscaping company and I haul a Bobcat, five ton dump trailer and tons of tools. I live in Nanaimo BC and it costs me about $130 to fill up, give or take a few dollars. Just like already shared I get about 550+km out of a tank. I have had up to 730km all highway from Vancouver to Fort St. John!! I use synthetic oil and change it approx every 6000-7000 km. I just goto Mr. Lube(easiest). They charge me $125. Because of the weight I haul I have upgraded the brake rotors and pads($600), I put them on myself. Not that you will need to. Besides that I take it to Ford for tranny, transfer case and diff service.(cheaper than any other in town, belive it or not).
Personally I love driving a truck- It has LOTS of room for me, passengers and STUFF!-and if I could afford it my second vehicle would be a 2008 F-450.(Its a 2005 Freestar- 3 kids!) But my truck makes me money so I can justify spending more on it than I would a car.
My good friend at the Ford dealership once told me that if I were to buy another diesel truck and wanted PROVEN reliability I should buy a truck with a 7.3L
BUT I have had minimal problems with my truck. I have gone through two alternators, It would not start once and Ford fixed it under warranty( some small sensor(recall)). Everything esle is just maintenace.
I just added a Banks six-gun and PDA. WHOA MAN!! My truck hauls ass now. So I'm sure my milage will drop depending on what setting I put it on and how I drive it.
Personally I love diesel but everyone might be right and a F-150 might be the way to go. They are nice looking trucks!
Good luck.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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DAMN this is a hard choice!!! thanks for the advice to hear more.

looking at the cost it is definitely more expensive to drive a diesel. hell i pay $0.10 a mile and i have had this civic since 2001 and had never spent a day at the garage! i did all the work on it like oil changes, brakes, general tune up but i'm lil worried with the diesels!!

i dunno which way i'm gonna go. but i need a new vehicle soon. if i dont get a diesel truck then i may just end up and VW TDI which gets you close to 56-58 mpg.

the problem with buying a F150 or other gasser trucks is the fact that they struggle when we used to tow last summer and i hate the fact that it struggled like it was a civic towing!

i have a 94 Ford explorer and its not the greatest for towing! and i don't want to put more money into a car so old especially if its a Ford gasser cos they were not made to last.

again keep the comments coming guys...
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 02:59 PM
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You want to haul? DIESEL is the way to go.With the 6L diesel I can haul just 'bout ANYTHING with relative ease. I sometimes haul over 12000lbs and like I said I personally have had next to no problems.
Take a look at Budjet car and truck sales. They sell 2004-2006's with around 60,000km for about $30,000. Not a bad deal, you get their minimal warranty, low km's and the Ford motor warranty goes to 160,000km
You will love a diesel!!

Last edited by Humprite; 02-02-2008 at 03:02 PM. Reason: added Bubjet info
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:12 PM
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Or if you wanted the super duty look you could get a gas super duty.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 05:04 PM
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Just something to think about, my trailer weighs as much empty as the total load that you describe needing to tow and I imagine that my trailer is lighter than many if not most of the trailers that are towed in anger on this forum.


White '99+ F250 SD XLT 4x2 SRW, 7.3PSD, 6spd, SuperCab, Short Bed
(mods listed in comments under photo in above link)
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 07:14 PM
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I've had mine since new in July of 1998 and I've spent a lot of money owning it. If I couldn't work on it myself, I'd get rid of it. One trip to the service dept could cost as much as a small car. The fuel mileage that you hear about is when towing. They do get better mileage when towing but for most that is a small percentage of the time. These guys are giving you good advise to steer away.

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Last edited by stout99; 02-02-2008 at 07:16 PM.
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