Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Cargo Van Maintenance Costs

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
The following is an update from this thread: http://www.expeditersonline.com/forum/truck-talk/57733-cargo-van-maintenance-costs.html


Listed below are the costs for maintaining a 2004 Chevrolet 3500, long wheelbase 6.0 V-8 slop bucket, for the first 730,000 miles as it came from the factory. The costs do not include the installation or maintenance of extras such as a bed, insulation, flooring, radios, house batteries etc. It also does not include any towing fees.

Oil, filter and lube: 139 @ $2581. All performed by myself, no labor costs.

Tune-up: 7@ $3615. 1st tune-up included ignition wires from NAPA that were guaranteed for life and replaced for free at following tune-ups. All tune-ups include replacing ignition wires, spark plugs (OEM AC Delco), serpentine and ac belts. 2 differential lube changes were included in tune-ups at 200,000 and 400,000 miles. Other minor repairs, were included as was labor.

Tires: 22 @ $3861 includes alignments.

Batteries: 3 @ $476

Front wheel bearings: 6 bearing assemblies @ $2520. 240,000, 432,000 and 632,000 miles.

Alternators: 8 @ $1493. The original 105 amp was replaced at 262,000 miles. That replacement lasted 1 week. Some alternators were replaced free of charge. Some only labor. The last 3 alternators were 155 amps from NAPA with a lifetime warranty and replaced for free, excluding labor.

Radiator flush and Fill: 5 @ $498

Transmission fluid and filters: 2 @ $320

Air Filters: 9 @ $184

Brakes: Front pads and rotors, $450 changed at 377,000 miles. Still running original rear pads and rotors. Replace front pads (warranty) and caliper mounts $285 @692,000

Shocks: Front and rear shocks, front springs @ $715. 377,000 miles.
Replaced all 4 shocks @ 556,755 mi. Life time warranty. $125 for labor which included mounting 2 new tires and rotation.

Deer collision: replace pass. side headlight and turn signal light assembly and grill. $950

Misc Repairs:
-replace sway bar and front brake caliper mount. $400.
-2nd replacement of front brake caliper mounts and turn rotors. $280
-replace T.P. sensor. $132
-replace upper coolant hose. $248
-replace 4 windshields $310. (Panther windshield plan, pay 1st $100)
(new Panther windshield plan, Panther pays first $250)
-replace A.C. tensioner and belt. $201
-differential lube change 2 included in tune-up cost.
-replace both headlight assemblies. $76
-replace both parking brake cables $303
-lights, wiper blades misc. parts. $1004

Front End: Both upper ball joints, pitman arm, idler arm and alignment $916 @ 516,000 miles

Oil Cooler Gasket:
Replace oil cooler gasket, inlet pick-up O-ring and oil pan gasket. $502 @ 544,000

U-Joints:
Replaceall u-joints (3) and replace rear transmission seal.Also replaced TPS (warranty) and cleaned throttle body. $391 @ 567,000



Total:
$22,836 or .03/mile.

emlm
 
Last edited:

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
For the calendar year 2013: I drove 75,459 miles, purchased 4476.8 gallons of gas for a total of $14,821. Average price for gas was $3.31/gallon. MPG for the year, 16.86 and cpm came in at .20/mi.
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
No drain valve. I do all oil changes myself. After 139 oil changes I still have the original drain plug and more importantly the original threads on the plug and pan. What I save cost-wise by doing it myself, I lose some of that savings by doing more frequent oil changes. If I'm at home with 4,000 miles on the oil, I'll change it. I have gone as far a 7,000 miles a few times but the average interval is a little over 5,000 miles.

Last spring I noticed my oil level slightly down on the dipstick (less than ½ quart) at about 5,000 miles. I switched from 5w30 to 10w30, problem solved.
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
And an Espar? Bless you Scott. I feel bad for only getting you a new curling broom.
 

BillChaffey

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
US Navy
Your post, Mr. Moot is a really nice gesture. It will be invaluable to rookies & vets alike for how to maintain a vehicle.
 

Maverick

Seasoned Expediter
That's a great post Moot.

More than a glance, toward real cost and importance of record keeping.

What is your opinion on Mobile synthetic?
 
Last edited:

hedgehog

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Really good info for any noobs thinking that vanning is a really cheap and easy way to make fast money.

(Emphasis on "cheap")

Something to else to consider: The down time (out-of-service) performing the repairs and routine maintenance.

How about one of the mods copying Moot's post over to the Newbies Paradise Forum ??
 

mjmsprt40

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
I have a question. Moot, you've been through 8 alternators. That seems like a lot, I have had to have one replaced in all the time I've owned vehicles. Maybe I'm just lucky, but it makes me wonder what in tarnation is going on to chew through 8 alternators. So--- what happened???

Possibly having the extra load of a house-bank, and all the stuff we insist we can't be happy without burns the alternators up faster than would otherwise be the case?

One other possibility is that replacement alternators aren't worth squat, most are reman or rebuilt and you have to hope that materials and workmanship are anywhere close to original.
 
Last edited:

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
It appears to me it would be a good idea for anyone contemplating expediting to put a nickel a mile into the OOIDA spreadsheet for maintenance costs when doing their exploratory work, provided they're running a good condition American van. For a Sprinter or other van I don't know what the correct number might be, perhaps a dime a mile.

Expenses should be estimated high and revenue estimated low. If the numbers still work then give it a try. The problem is that many people do it the other way around. Expenses are estimated too low on the theory that Murphy will never visit and revenues are estimated too high from listening to pie in the sky recruiters and others who for whatever reason feel better telling it like it isn't.
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Something to else to consider: The down time (out-of-service) performing the repairs and routine maintenance.
A cost I didn't include was a wrecker fee that was about $300 and another time I spent 2 nights in a motel waiting on repairs.
 

Murraycroexp

Veteran Expediter
I REALLY should track my expenses better. I'm sure it would knock a big dent in the $162,734.00 this VIN# has generated since it's in-service date. Ugh!!!
$225 alternator.
$900 tires.
$185 front pads & rotors
$212 deer strike.
$660 pinion bearing & all seals.
$75 tensioner and belt.
$850 tires.
$135 MAF sensor.
Etc
Etc
Etc
 

Moot

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
I have a question. Moot, you've been through 8 alternators.
Actually the total is 9. I replaced one myself Thanksgiving day because my mechanic was closed the Friday after Thanksgiving. They got the alternator under warranty, I installed it so there was no labor charges.

The nine alternators works out to 81,000 per alternator. The original alternator went 262,000 miles. The one that replaced lasted exactly 7 days. The last few have gone around 90,000 miles, so...???? I've got a Sears Platinum AGM starting battery and two Sears AGM marine deep cycles charges through a Hellroaring isolator.
 
Top